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Canon See Impossible

Bob Davis — An Engaging Ride Through Chicago

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Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Zach and Sherri - Close-up

There is no greater reward than seeing people relive their day through the photographic memories I’ve captured.

This is what drives me, storytelling moments preserved for a lifetime.

As part of Zach and Sherri's engagement shoot, my vision was to photograph them during a romantic taxi ride.

Canon’s EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens was perfect to capture both the couple and the city whizzing by and our couple lost in their love. I chose to mount the camera outside of the taxi for an impactful storytelling point of view.

The camera was mounted on the trunk deck of a moving taxi in Downtown Chicago using a Delkin Fat Gecko Triple mount. The camera was remotely fired using a Pocket Wizard. A Speedlite Transmitter, attached to the camera, fired a remote Speedlite 600EX-RT, positioned inside the taxi. The Speedlite was in Manual mode 1/2 power with a MagMod full CTO gel and MagSphere in second curtain sync.

Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Taxi Camera Setup
Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Taxi Camera Setup

Since the photograph was being captured remotely and I was striving for in-camera motion blur, I chose Aperture Priority at f/8 for depth of focus of the couple and the environment. The city lights varied in brightness, so I set Exposure compensation to minus -1 to keep the blacks true and to give separation between the flash and ambient light. The camera chose the shutter speed accordingly. The flash exposure was determined during setup, and I chose to go manual flash output for consistency. I filtered the flash to match the warm color of streetlights.

The final photograph was edited and retouched by my wife, Dawn Davis, who finishes all of our work with her precise photo editing skills. Dawn used Adobe® Lightroom® and Photoshop® to complete the photograph.

Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - An Engaging Ride Through Chicago

Dawn and I strive to tell our couple’s story and reflect their energy in the photographs and memories we capture. We work in two rooms: I am the principal photographer and handle all the logistics of our shoots and Dawn completes our vision by editing my photos and making each image sing, then designs a fine art book to encapsulate the story of the day.

Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Zach and Sherri - Black and White Portrait
Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Zach and Sherri with Balloons
Canon See Impossible - Bob Davis - Zach and Sherri - Flower Fields

Photography Tip:

It’s all about light! I use light to tell the story, define the mood and to capture the moment. I suggest becoming a seeker of light, see the light and do whatever it takes to get your subjects in beautiful light and if it’s not there, create the light you want by using off-camera flash. The Canon Speedlite system allows me to do just that! If the sun’s not flattering I can use high speed sync to underexpose the sky and fill those shadows under their eyes. I can use all the traditional light modifiers, two of my favorites are The Perfect Pair by FJ Westcott, a Halo Umbrella, and medium Apollo Softbox, for beautiful light anywhere, anytime.

Write this down!
  • ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light,
  • Aperture is the output you need from the Speedlite, and
  • Shutter speed is equal to ambient light.
Simply this means if I need to overcome bright harsh sunlight, I use a low ISO such as 100, I choose to use an aperture of f/4 and the shutter speed of 1/1000th sec (note: High Speed Sync needs to be active). This will give me a beautiful exposure with blue in the sky and proper exposed photographs, like some of the examples here.
Want to learn even more from Bob online?
Check out his Canon Online Learning class, "Creative Lighting with External Flash," available for purchase.

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Canon Explorer of Light - Bob Davis

Bob Davis discusses his career and passion for photography in our series of videos introducing our Explorers of Light.

For more information on Bob, please visit his Explorer of Light bio page.

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