Nikon D200, 18mm, 1/100 @ f/4, ISO 100, two SB600's shoot-through umbrella camera left 1/8 power, CLS

On a recent trip to Ames, I got the opportunity to visit with my sister who is the proud owner of a 2008 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. She just got it a few weeks ago and I had yet to see it. I was in town for a reunion (fodder for another post) and in the midst of our schedule found some time to pay Lauren a visit. We had talked previously and I told her I wanted to make a portrait of her on the motorcycle and thought I could stop by after the reunion dinner.

Things were going fine until I looked up from my cajun pasta and saw the sky let loose with a pretty good downpour. My hopes sunk thinking I would miss the chance to make the portrait. The timing would have been perfect ... the sun going down, I could underexpose the ambient and hit her and the bike with two SB's in a 60" shoot-through; but, the rain! Bummer. I still wanted to see her new toy.

I lingered at dinner a little longer and called letting her know I was going to be a little late. It was still raining when I pulled into her drive but, we were still happy to see each other. We sat and chatted for a little through the cat playing with a pen on the dining-room table and laughed about what little had changed over the years. Time to see the bike.

We went outside where it was still dripping a little but there were some breaks in the clouds and I said, "it's going to stop ... let me throw some equipment together and let's do this shot." The sun was setting pretty fast but I thought we still had plenty of light if we worked fast. I threw two SB 600's into the umbrella, programmed in a few starting point settings and she wheeled the bike into the street. The sky was darkening but great.

My goal was to dampen the ambient to get a rich sky but get enough background detail to maintain context and yet show off the rider and the bike. I think I got it. Lauren and Hazel.