Paul D’Andrea’s HyperSync Portrait

Paul D'Andrea

© 2012 Paul D’Andrea

Paul D’Andrea is an Indianapolis-based photographer whose work runs the gamut from portraits and events to fine art. He even helps run one of the few photography galleries in the city, M10 Studio and Gallery. Here, he gives us the details behind an outdoor portrait he made with a little help from HyperSync®.

When making a portrait I have to decide how to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject. I might do this with a simplified background, a composition that frames the subject, or it might be with a shallow depth of field or a difference in exposure (making the subject brighter than the backdrop).

For an outdoor portrait, using a shallow depth of field often precludes the use of studio lights and exposure in pulling the subject off the background. With a maximum sync speed of 1/250th of a second for the studio lights, I need to choose an aperture to match the ambient exposure, this might be f/11 or f/16 on a sunny day, which won’t provide a very shallow depth of field. Enter HyperSync, which allows me to have both a shallow depth of field and large light modifiers.

The image below shows how the shot was set up, although it was taken at a different time than the final image.

Paul D'Andrea BTS

© 2012 Paul D’Andrea

Lighting diagram

© 2012 Paul D’Andrea

For this image of my daughter, I wanted to combine a shallow depth of field with nice, soft light. Being in the forest, I was limited in how much soft light I could reflect in, but being midday meant there was too much light for a shallow depth of field if I was limited by a maximum sync of 1/250th.

With HyperSync I was able to shoot wide open and raise the shutter speed beyond 1/250th, shooting at 1.4 and 1/1250.

This image was made with a Nikon D700 and 35mm 1.4. Exposure is 1/1250 at f/1.4 and ISO200. For the lighting I have an Elinchrom Ranger RX with an S head into a 53″ Midi Octa. The Ranger is triggered with a PowerST4 and I’ve got a Mini TT1 and AC3 ZoneController on camera.

Paul D'Andrea - AC3 ZoneController

© 2012 Paul D’Andrea

Paul D'Andrea - PowerST4

© 2012 Paul D’Andrea


See more of Paul’s work on his site and check out his blog for more behind the scenes posts. Connect with him on Flickr.


All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Paul D’Andrea, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

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