I was lucky enough to have started this project in a country away from my own and this gave me the opportunity to meet a variety of people that I normally wouldn’t have. My next stranger actually came about through a party that my host’s were having to celebrate the end of my trip in Los Angeles before I took the flight back home to Australia. Stranger #12 is Walter.
Walter, and his brother Rudy were there this night from Mojo Photo Booth’s Pasadena. My host had organised this portable photobooth for the party so everyone could get their photos throughout the night, and Walter and Rudy were there to set it up and host. It really was a lot of fun and I recommend it to anyone looking to add to some real fun to their next party in LA. Tell them David from Australia sent you 😉
I was intrigued by the setup of the booth and got chatting to Walter about their business. During the day Walter works as a real estate agent but by night and weekends he and his brother run the Mojo Photobooth business. Both of them had some great stories about some of the parties they had been to with the booth and all the events that people had captured inside it. Whilst talking to the guys I had told them about the 100 Strangers project I was involved in and Walter agreed to pose for a shot without hesitation.
Now this shot was unlike any I’d had to do in this series so far where they had all been in natural daylight – this shot was to be done at night and we were in a room that had only one bedside lamp to provide light from. It wasn’t exactly professional studio lighting, with the incandescent lamp pumping out a whopping 60 Watts and a horrible yellow glow on the skin because of it. Not letting that phase us we proceeded ahead and tried to get the shot. At first I thought I’d do a shot with my speedlight and a ringflash adaptor that I had brought over, but the batteries were flat and I’d have to do this one without it. So I cranked up the ISO to 2500 and even then with the aperture set at f1.8 on my 85mm I was still getting a reading of 1/15th second. His brother Rudy was holding our one and only light source (the bedside lamp) up in the air about 5m to the right of Walter as the main light. I braced my shooting arms close to my body and used anything I could to keep my hands steady and fired off some shots. To my surprise I actually got some relatively sharp shots with this one being the choice. It still isn’t perfectly sharp on his left eye but in those conditions I was happy that I got this as a keeper for the project. I was happy with the exposure on his face and was also glad to get some catchlights in his eyes thanks to Rudy being my human light post.
So in the tough indoor lighting conditions that we had for this shot I was pleased with the end result – and with the relative steadiness of my hands at such a slow shutter speed. We also managed to get some great photos during the night thanks to their photobooth which made for a very memorable last night in the United States for me. So thank you to Walter (and Rudy) for being apart of the project, and thank you to my hosts in America for throwing such a cool going away party. You just never know when your going to meet your next stranger in this series, just have your camera ready 🙂