At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For January we chose an image from our Easter Island Workshop created by Keith Eisele. Keith is a fan of using artificial lights and jumped right in with a speed light when he saw our Rapa Nui dancers. We hope you enjoy Keith’s images as much as we do!
Congratulations to January 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Keith Eisele
The light was rapidly decreasing as the sun was going down. To me that meant it was the perfect time to use a speed light.
There was just enough ambient light to pick up the statues in the background. With a native dancer in traditional attire, I really wanted to show the Moai statues in the background.
I took a couple of test shots to make sure the light wasn’t too hot. I was pleased that the shadows from the feathers on his hand showed up on his body.
I wanted to make sure the horizon line did not cross any major parts of the body like his head or hands. This would create too much of a distraction. I ended up down on the ground sitting on my derriere to get the horizon line where I wanted it.
It was tough to get separation between the dancer and the statues. He moved a lot while posing and then would freeze for just a few seconds. The feathers often merged with the statue and I really wanted to get clean separation in the image.
I really liked this image because of the lean of his body. His leg creates a strong leading line in the image.
It felt to me that the dancers really knew what they were doing. I noticed that they never touched, even though they had very good rapport. The male was very patient and willing to look at us. There were not at all self-conscious. It made them very easy to photograph.
Nikon Z9 with a 24-70mm lens
ISO 200 1/60sec f5.6
Shot at 27mm
About Photographing on Easter Island
I really enjoyed it.
I also found it somewhat challenging. Because of all the clouds moving around, the light changed very quickly. I had to be on top of my settings all of the time.
Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. Of course you expect to shoot statues on Easter Island. I also really enjoyed the hike through the quarry where the Moai statues were excavated.
Keith’s Tips for Photographing Portraits
Tip 1: I’m still learning
When I’m shooting someone, even if it is someone I already know, I have to establish a new rapport. They may be nervous about the lights or they haven’t worked with me as a photographer before.
I set the camera down and walk over to them. I explain what I have in mind for the shot and ask them “What would you like?”
Tip 2: You can tell people where you want them to stand and how you want them to pose. I prefer to show them and demonstrate what I want.
Tip 3: After I have taken a few frames, I show them an example of what I’m getting. Sometimes I even shoot tethered. Then they can see the results as soon as I can.
On Keith’s Horizon:
Lofoten Islands in Norway – returning for Northern Lights
Just 5 openings left on domestic trips in 2023:
Old Car City Workshop, March 30-April 2 – 2 spaces available . Use speed lights on classic cars and models. Click here
Bears at Lake Clark, June 18-23 – 1 space available. Photograph grizzly bears with cubs in Alaska Click here
Route 66 East from Oct 25-29 – 2 spaces available . Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here
Where are Tom and Cree?
Next stop: Lofoten islands in Norway. We hope to find crystal clear nights with green Northern Lights reflecting of water and snowy surfaces. Bring on the cold!
We hope you are enjoying the winter photography in your area of the world. Thanks for reading our posts!
Tom and Cree