Having found him a lot more easily than I had bargained for I then discovered that he was shortly to catch a train and had to be interviewed in the mean time. This gave me about ten minutes to shoot the pictures and no way of getting back to the car to gather kit, oh! and it was about to rain.
The sky was still blue just outside the station concourse and the buildings gave us an area of shade so I decided to go with a similar idea to the "shooting from the shade" technique explained a few months ago. Because I am a Canon user I took advantage of the excellent ST-E2 flash transmitter on the camera and the 550ex flash unit in slave mode but because I chose to shoot with the flash in manual the technique applies to any unit that has a manual output mode.I put a Sto-fen diffuser on the 550 and set it to 1/8th power. The journalist turned up on cue so I got him to hold the flash at an angle of about 35 degrees to the axis of the flash at a distance of two metres.
With my 17-35 lens on my camera I shot a test frame and looked at it on the LCD. The sky which I had metered at 1/250th of a second at f8 was exposed perfectly, but the subject was underexposed. I set the flash to 1/4 power and tried again, but the subject was still a little dark. I moved my makeshift assistant forward by about 50 cm and the third test was spot on. The important thing at this point is to maintain the flash to subject distance so I made sure that was taken care of before shooting a variety of angles with the subject looking into camera for some pictures and straight at the flash for others. I also varied the angle of the flash in relation to the axis of the lens whilst maintaining the height of the flash above the subjects eye level to about ten degrees. The image above was shot with the zoom at 24mm (40mm equivalent angle of view) and with the flash at about 40 degrees from the lens axis.
The entire shoot lasted less than five minutes, including a few mugshots. The journalist got his interview and Mr. Molyneux got his train. Life is sweet.