CNG mining shoot in Guatemala

During an extremely busy Annual Report season we recently had the pleasure of travelling to Guatemala to shoot a nickel mine for an Annual Report we were working on.

After finishing a 4 day shoot in Flin Flon, Manitoba we thinned our gear down as much as possible to reduce weight and cost, threw in some T shirts, sun block and insect repellant and raced for the airport. We arrived in Guatemala City at noon and were met by Carlos the company driver to be taken to head office to shoot a portrait of the CEO. One problem. One of our equipment bags was still in Atlanta, thanks to US customs and would only be arriving the next
day and we were scheduled to be at the mine 5 hours away by then. What to do? This bag contained our tripod, light stands, soft boxes and other grip equipment. Fortunately we always carry all our camera gear on board with us, so we had everything we needed to shoot with
except grip gear. We could not wait a day so I decided to forge ahead and shoot the CEO with my portable camera strobes ( I always carry two with me as supplemental fill lights ) and wait for the bag to be forwarded to us by the mining company, although it looked like it would arrive just in time for us to return to Toronto.

This would call for some tricky use of available light and small strobes to match some of the exec shots we had already shot in Toronto. I carry a set of diffusers for the camera flash which I knew would allow me to finesse the light a bit. Here is the result, I think we
did quite well, considering this was shot with two small strobes.

As we only had two days to get our shots, we hit the ground running, so to speak. Our first day of shooting involved driving around the mine looking for things and places that would make great shots. Not having much lighting I focussed on using the available light with supplemental strobe as much as possible.

Kung Fu shooting with the EOS strobes.

The following day was spent driving around in the community shooting environmental shots. A local school funded by the mine allowed me the opportunity to play Peter Pan. Available window light and fill flash proved sufficient for all my shots.

Shooting in the vegetable patch was a challenge with the changing light and heat. With a temperature around 35 C it was tough shooting with perspiration dripping in your eyes and bugs hovering around your head. The local people did not speak Spanish, only a mayan dialect called K'chee, I quickly learned that, thank you, is banti osh.

All in all a very successful shoot, Guatemalan people were extremely warm and friendly, we got some great shots and escaped winter for 4 days. Awesome.


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