I first met and photographed Vito in 2013. I was visiting Chiaramonte, a sleepy little village in the Ragusa region of Sicily as part of a portrait photography workshop I was running for www.sicilianfoodtours.com.
Model Credit: Vito, photographed on location in Chiaramonte, Sicily
My Basic Location Travel Kit
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens ISO 100. F.4 @1/200th sec
- 2x Canon 580 EX11 Speedlight
- 1x Photoflex medium size softbox that folds flat, and is perfect for lighting one person and couples.
- 2x PocketWizard remote flash triggers
- 1x light meter I use a Minolta IV (not available any more)
- 1x Manfrotto 190XPROB
It was a Sunday morning and Chiaramonte’s piazza was completely deserted except for a single Fiat500 parked in front of the church. I was excited to be working in Sicily – the birthplace of my parents.
Finding an empty piazza, with only a handful of octogenarians dressed in their original attire from the 1940s, was like discovering a Nutella fountain in my backyard. I was in heaven.
I totally claimed responsibility for the Felliniesque set we had found ourselves in and told my students: “Yeah; I planned this” which had been a running joke among us every time something extraordinary happened.
This year I went back to Chiaramonte in search of Vito to give him a copy of his portrait. I loved photographing Vito the first time; having the opportunity to go back and personally give him his portrait was gold. He was so emotional and thanked me for “remembering an old man” I don’t think he will ever know the impact he had on me, and yes, I cried like a baby afterwards.
Vito’s portrait symbolises my three great loves: travel, photography and Sicily. This was one of the happiest days of my life as a photographer so far.
Pic caption: My travel location kit in action.
This portrait of Vito was photographed with off camera fill flash using my portable travel location kit.
Here are my settings for this image:
- Ambient light reading off Vito’s Skin tone was F4 @ 1/200th of a second
- Canon 580 EX11 Speedlight set to Manual mode at ¼ power and positioned at a 45-degree angle to Vito.
- The meter reading of the Flash is F4.5 @ 1/200th of a second, which is half a stop over my original ambient reading.