The other day one of our administrative assistants, Julee LaMothe asked me if I’d photograph my colleague Yingbin Fu for a portrait in our annual report to Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB). RPB is a private foundation that supports vision research and clinical vision work around the globe. Because of this mission and the work we do here, RPB has supported the work at the Moran Eye Center for many years. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to have been funded by RPB for a career development award a few years ago for which I am extremely grateful. Because of this, I was more than happy to volunteer my services to shoot a portrait for Yingbin. He wanted something that was kind of techy and there is only so much that one can do with a micro-pipetter, so I figured we’d shoot something different. I tried a setup in my office with all the computer screens, but that was just not working for me. Earlier this year, I bought a Heidelberg Spectralis for some work that we’ve been doing and figured that it might make a nice “set” for Yingbin to sit at since the RPB wants to see images of its funded scientists workng and not staring into the camera.
The setup was another Strobist style approach with two red bulbs above and two strobes shooting through umbrellas to the right and left of the image with some fill from the computer display that we’d turned the brightness all the way down on. I could have photoshopped the image on the computer display in, but as always, if you can get it in camera without blowing it out, that is always best. The strobe on the right was shooting at 1/4 power and the one of the left behind the camera was at 1/8 power to fill in the detail on the front of Yingbin’s lab coat. Speaking of lab coat, white lab coats are always a pain to shoot in, so I had Yingbin bring his blue lab coat. Much nicer in the red light than a white one would have been.
Because RPB does not want the investigators looking into the camera, the shot immediately above is the one we sent them rather than the introductory image on top that I prefer.