The idea behind this image is a simple one. He is a senior member of the management team at Cambridge University and the building in the background is the Senate. He is positioned underneath a covered walkway where the exposure would have been 1/60th of a second at f4 on 200 ISO. The building in the background was in direct sunlight and the exposure there was 1/180th of a second at f11. Shooting with the correct exposure for the background would have made our subject a silhouette and the whole point of this technique is to light them carefully in the foreground.
I was using a Lumedyne Signature series flash kit with a 40" (1 metre) shoot through white umbrella. It was positioned as close to the subject as I could get it without getting it into the wide horizontal version of this frame. In practice the umbrella was just under two metres (less than 80") away from the subject and off to the side at an angle of about sixty degrees from the axis of the lens. The lens was a 24-70 f2.8L Canon on an EOS5D MkII with the lens zoomed to 38mm. The flash was set at about ten degrees above the subject's eyeline.
The set up and shoot time was less than five minutes and we had time to shoot more pictures in other locations around the University. The "classic" view of Cambridge is often seen as the one with King's College Chapel and that was where we headed next before ending up on a bridge over the River Cam where we shot the picture below. I won't describe it blow by blow because I already have done... well sort of and the details are here.