All other lights were switched off to provide a great degree of control over shadows and highlights.
ISO was cranked up to 1600 (just like suzypaws did for her 'Live Rock Band' images). I knew this would give me grain, particularly in the background but I was O.K. with that for 2 reasons (i) I wanted the backgrounds blurred anyway & (ii) I tried 800 it wasn't getting the results I wanted.
The D70's histogram was used to see how the overall exposure was going. I wanted some burning out in the high reflections so I used the 'clipping' function of the histogram that flashes in the areas of the image where the highlights are burned out. Using this facility I was able to get maximum reflection off the lights and only burn out where I wanted to burn out.
Here's how I got on.
Hey Hey Were The Monkeys
In all of the images I wanted the light coming from the left, with a burned out reflection spot on each Monkey's head. I achieved that objective but there's far too much shadow - and grain from the high ISO.
I grouped them all in the first shot - f11 and 1/8 exposure. The tripod was too far away and I had to use the lens at 80mm to close in (flattening the effect - the opposite of what I wanted!). I didn't like the look of them bunched either.
The f11 gave too much depth so I opened up to f5.6 with 1/20 exposure to get a bit more light in (I also thought the previous image was too dark).
Now I've come in at 66mm, stayed with fll and gone for 1/30 exposure. I've spread the monkeys out - I much prefer this look, it easier on the eye, you can take a look around, it's not cluttered and confusing.
Everything the same I've moved the tripod closer and gone to 60mm - it's getting better. The eye now has something to focus on when it first sees the image, it can then look around at the rest of the image.
I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane
I wanted good saturated colour, lots of reflections off of edges and curves.
I wanted to get the jet in the background and so went back to - f11 and 1/8 exposure. I had to use the lens at 80mm to close in.
I thought I'd be O.K. with the captain's legs cropped out but I wasn't so I adjusted to 75mm. I also adjusted the lamp to give more light to the bodies.
The plane was too sharp and distracted from the image so back to f5.6. I also turned the plane around, thinking it was too distracting. It ended up being to 'nebulus' although I liked the Captain sharp, the stewardess slightly blurred and the plane more so, it gives depth to the image.
Reverted the plane to its original position stayed with the previous settings and hey presto.
I got so much wrong with this one that I'll just show the one decent image (although the sheep's construction distracts from the rest of the image).
To get sharpness I used ISO 200 (see it can work - even in these conditions), f11 and got right up close with the lens, with 0.5 secs exposure.
She's My Japanese Girl
I fully expected to use a 'Japanes Cherry Blossom' picture as the backdrop for this. However the backdrop picture is only 12x8 so it'll need to be close in, otherwise I'll have more than that in the background. I chose 80mm to deliberately flatten the image. I knew I wanted a blurred backdrop in the final image.
I wondered if a white towel would work better than the brown dining table (used in all the other shots) and started off at f5.6. & 1/15th exposure.
The towel wasn't working so I decided to raise her on a box (no adjustments to settings),
Slight adjustment to get rid of the plinth (O.K. box).
The final image tweaked in photoshop to hide the evident fact that I haven't kept my camera as clean as I'd like.