Location Portrait New York City Subway: OnSet ep. 253

By | March 8, 2020


Hey this is Daniel Norton, I’m here in New York City with Marissa, and we’re gonna go on an adventure. We’re gonna go down into the Subway. So the Subway is one of those places, it’s like classic New York. Everybody loves to make portraits in the Subway and there’s actually lots of light down there. You can go down the Subway find a good little pool of light, and light something, but to really get something interesting and extra, we decided to go down there and light it. Okay guys before we get down the Subway, let’s take a second to talk about safety. Make sure you’re not gonna get too close to the platform edge. That means you and your model. And don’t go in the areas marked ‘Do Not Enter’. Also, you shouldn’t put down any tripods or anything like that where somebody could trip. Remember there’s commuters out there and if you’re using a flash make sure you’re not flashing it towards the train as it comes towards you. That can be very dangerous. Follow those rules. Use common sense. Let’s get some great shots. So I have a backpack full of equipment, super simple. I have my laptop with me because of course we’ll go tethered, like we always do. I’ve got the Nikon with the tethering cable and everything. And I just I’m gonna bring with me one simple light – Profoto A1. Right, speedlight, small flash, plenty of light in the Subway to do that, because ultimately what I’m gonna do is drag the shutter I’m sure, and with stabilization in the camera, I should be able to get a relatively stable shot. And then we’re gonna light Marissa, so it looks really nice. For that I got some cool stuff in here. Some grip and an arm, and I’ll show you that we get down there. Okay here we go. We’re in the Subway and we’re gonna make this happen. Marissa’s got a fancy dress. Perfecto. Alright let’s take a quick peek see what the exposure is. Good good good. Alright so I’m just taking the shot I’m in Capture One here. Gonna see what this looks like. Okay here we go we’re at 1/15th of a second at f/4. No be more flat to me. There we go, yeah exactly. Stay out of that light though. Yep back back back back, good good good good, Here we go, oh hell yeah, I’m shooting at 1/15th of a
second. I’ve got the Chimera light kind of positioned above her clamped, Good good good, couple more, Okay hold it. We’re gonna wait for the train now. Nice, to me. Good. Pretty. Good okay hold. Let the people come off the train. Nice, that’s pretty. You can adjust the color slightly, but that’s nice. You’re getting a little too much light on you from the front light though. So go ahead and stand further back. Yeah just try to stay out of that light. Yeah there we go exactly. Good good good, here we go. Good, hold on wait just waiting for people. Okay we’re just waiting for people to come by. It’s so windy and so noisy. Awesome that’s fantastic. Oh wow, it’s actually good with the wind. Look at how nuts that is, that’s so cool. Cool cool cool, yeah, that looks good. Let’s just shoot a couple more before anybody comes, another train comes. A couple more cool poses, that’s perfect where you are though. A few more like that and then we’ll do a quick video. Okay here we go. Awesome! That’s awesome, okay so. We’ve got Marissa. Look I’ll just put you there to just quickly go through this. Okay cool. No that’s me checking my sound. Alright so here’s Marissa here. So basically we’re in the Subway here. You know I’m kind of balancing the light slightly below this light here. But you can see I’m using my Profoto A1 I’m using a Chimera extra small, with one Profoto A1 kinda in the back, and I’ve got a super clamp here, just holding it up. Nice and simple. She’s right there. So we’ve got the laptop set up here, and Capture One again, I always try out to tether on location if I can. I know that that sounds silly but we’re seeing the shots pop up. I get the remote on top of my camera nice and simple. Let’s shoot one or two more, I know you’re cold. Nice all right. Oh wow yeah. We got some variety. We got some interesting shots but that’s kind of cool. I like, I kind of like seeing this scene
more. Yeah it’s cool. – What’s it like when the train came by? Yeah so when we get the train coming by. Yeah it’s pretty dope and you should be pretty sharp. Wow you’re a little soft. See when the train comes by it reflects the constant light there, which is then making you a little softer. That’s the only problem with it but that’s not bad Yeah because the trains have stopped. So that’s the issue here right guys, when the trains moving it’s actually this over here is actually a reflective right, and when that bounces back we’re getting more ambient light on her, so there’s more chance of a blur. That one’s pretty good though. So, I mean I am shooting at 1/15th of a second. They’re actually not cropped I had the crop on. My mistake, so I gotta go back and we’ll take that off in a second. When we do that cool. I think we got it, I don’t think there’s anything else really to do here. You’re perfect you can put your jacket back on. Okay so we just made some awesome shots in the subway. And yeah it was pretty cool. The thing is you can go down the subway to make all kinds of fun shots. I mean there’s lots of light down there. It’s actually not as dark as you might think, but unless you kind of bring your own light, you’re kind of, you got to work with what’s there which isn’t always as exciting. So this was kind of fun, we get to make our own light. Make it look like a actual photo shoot with a minimal amount equipment. Really quick, I think we’re down there a total of like 10 minutes. Yeah, super fast. So yeah I mean, think about that, and again I just had this backpack full of equipment. When I’m doing these shoots we’re running around. I don’t carry a lot of stuff with me. You know, I did pre think this one and make sure I brought with me a clamp. So I clamp because you can’t put, you know, stands down in the subway. It’s dangerous so we knew we wanted to clamp the light. Another way you can do it is have a friend hold it. You know there’s lots of different ways to do it. So anyways I will put Marissa’s information in the description. You guys can follow her. Be sure to follow me Daniel Norton Photographer and subscribe to AdoramaTV. Ring the bell and I’ll see you next time OnSet.

92 thoughts on “Location Portrait New York City Subway: OnSet ep. 253

  1. Matti ausm Norden Post author

    Awesome Marisa Move 😉 Like always great vid. Love your outdoor shoots. The dress and the hair – gorgeous. The coloring was nice too, the warm, golden look. Darisa for president(s)?! xD

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  2. Sample Dude Post author

    Yeah, be very careful guys, the flash could derail the train!

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  3. Enrique Post author

    Great idea Daniel, I always wanted to try that, but we don't have too many subways in Fort Lauderdale. LOL

    Reply
  4. phynx2006 Post author

    Last night Steven Colbert, on the Late Show was saying not to touch anything in the NY Subway and today Marisa is leaning against a Subway column hahaha great location though, images came out great …. and that dress 😍 works great in the location.

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  5. David Fraser Post author

    Awesome! I especially like the warm tones.

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  6. Love You Photography Post author

    Really bad! On the left, a garbage collector and the model so that you can't see her arm and her upper body fuses with the steel beam.

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  7. alexander pons Post author

    Oh wow I loved it! Amazing how you lit the shot and how minimal you were with gear but with an outstanding result. Thank you Daniel for showing what can be done with the right gear and planning ahead of time as well. Thanks you and Marissa for making great videos!

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  8. Jacques Marotte Post author

    As usual awesome video ! You're both so cool guys ! Marisa is so beautiful and that dress is incredible on her! A total movie star ! You're lucky Daniel to have such a gorgeous model available ! Keep the good work guys !

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  9. Kenny Slusser Post author

    Great work!!! I wish I lived near a subway!!

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  10. GStreet Post author

    Nice, I’m curious how it would look if you shot with rear curtain sync. 🤔

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  11. Steve Spencer Post author

    Excellent as ever Daniel !! Love these location shoots 😁

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  12. photographerjonathan Post author

    Could've come up with a better pose and maybe expression, I would've shown both arms or at least her second hand. it just looks like her arm is cut off, she could've leaned her elbow or hand or shoulder on the beam, I would've experimented to see what looked best. but I didn't really see any magic shots out of this shoot. I think you called the shoot right when things could've started to get good. I don't see what the rush was to get out of there. don't hate me for my opinion. I still enjoyed the video.

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  13. Andy Zavoina Post author

    Looked great. Would like to see more on your take when to drag the shutter, and in this case, how to reduce the softness from the reflective train.

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  14. Itmam Hasan Post author

    1/15th of a second, shouldn't it be blurry in such low shutter speed?
    …. as there is a moving subject

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  15. Mark Tom Photography Post author

    Bonus of working in the subway, free wind machines! 🚈💨

    Reply
  16. Jimmy Hill Post author

    Super clamps and Magic Arms are a godsend if you light anywhere public in NYC(or any major city really). Between permits and pedestrians, lightstands are just a no-go most times. There are however ALWAYS sign posts/scaffolding/I-beams and more available.

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  17. Mike James Post author

    Thanks, Daniel and Marisa! It's always a fun-looking shoot when you two are together, and the results are very nice, with the warm colors.

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  18. Alsandair Toms Post author

    Really good video again Daniel. I really like your style that lives somewhere between "studio tutorial" and "bts montage"…you get across the technical skills, but just as importantly the tone and process.

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  19. Alejandro Puente Post author

    Is impossible to take a bad picture of Marisa.

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  20. smalltalk.productions Post author

    totally works. marissa's experience and creativity nailed the posing and daniel was really together in setting up the session. BIG thumbs up to both.

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  21. Jose Machado Post author

    Loved the addition of the Dan puppet 👍👍👍

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  22. Rory on a Bike Post author

    There’s a very practical reason to forget using a tripod at elevated stations: the platforms sway 🙂

    Reply
  23. 007PJG Post author

    Did you need a permit or because you didn’t use a tripod it was ok to shoot there ?

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  24. Greg Rones Post author

    Interesting. Informative. Enjoyed watching the problem-solving for the on-location shoot.

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  25. Ninja antelope There can be only 1 Post author

    🤔 is that dress blue…. or gold?!!😳

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  26. Patty Mattes Post author

    This is cool!!! I love these on location shots. So, if you are mixing ambient light with flash one has to be careful with motion blur (the reflected light from the train)? Wouldn't the flash freeze her at one point and then give a bit of a ghost as she moves? Here is a question about the A1. What was the power setting on the A1 and did you have a long flash (versus quick to freeze motion) duration? My curious mind wants to know. Thanks for another great video!

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  27. Alan Johnstone Post author

    I gather you did not need any permits for shooting in the subway. Magic Arms and Super Clamps always useful. Thanks Daniel and Marisa

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  28. MegaInformazione Post author

    the most expansive gear on the market?

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  29. joe honeyands Post author

    I find these sort of videos so inspiring. Thanks guys!

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  30. Jerry Mccarthy Post author

    Great shots guys, miss The City, Florida sucks, Marisa's Gorgeous 👍😁

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  31. cbweb Post author

    Puppet is back! Sorry, had to pause the vid just for that comment ❤️

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  32. cbweb Post author

    Did you gel the flash? The whole shot looked consistently very warm, much like old style light bulbs, when I would have expected a heavy tint from the flourescent lights down there vs the daylight flash?

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  33. David Barfield Post author

    I have to say that Marisa looks absolutely divine in that dress! Great video Daniel!

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  34. Tom Corbett Post author

    Great Job Guys! Lovely to see ye on location! Daniel how did you set the white balance with the different light temperatures? Sorry if I missed it

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  35. GilbertTV Post author

    a very different approach to how I would shoot .. very interesting ..shooting at 1/15 at F4 ..with flash.. great use of the super clamp.. that's made me think there is a different approach.. I would of used my rotolight Neo (Led) & probably used 1/80 shutter ..maybe pushed it to 1/30 to get movement when the train came passed.. thanks that's opened my eyes .. Marisa looked amazing in that dress.. the importance of styling & getting that right is as important as all the technical stuff too

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  36. Denis Fisser Post author

    Great video with one of my fav models Marisa (oops..model/photographer), love the clamp setup which I will copy with a small affordable mini box (not Chimera, not as rich a you..).

    Absolutely love the Daniel Puppet 🙂

    Reply
  37. Jason Guzman Post author

    This really inspired me. This is what New York is about, using it as a studio/set. It was so nifty and quick. You two make a great duo.

    Reply
  38. Kingfisher61 Post author

    Excellent short shoot Daniel, enjoyed this vlog 👏👏

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  39. Amaretto Post author

    Thank you for the tutorial.i would like to try this out one day when I visit NYC or anyplace that happens to have a subway. Like always you guys make a great team and the I mass always comes out good.

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  40. Chris Lonsberry Post author

    Another great video. I always.. ALWAYS.. overpack gear. Not proud of it. It just is. But I want to be prepared for every eventuality. Kinda cool to see what you can do without it.

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  41. John Leigh Post author

    awesome stuff great ideas as always inspiring –
    In London Underground there is nowhere to clamp a light as shown but could go the hand held oneself or assistant route but super swift before the guards give you a telling off

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  42. Russell M. Webb Post author

    Magic Arm. Can't live without em. Many of em.

    Reply
  43. Hugo Ghoul Post author

    Amazing! just had a photoshoot at the street and I had a lot of issues with distractions, light conditions changing, and I can see how you and Marissa solved them on the spot, and like 20 poses on 5 minutes!

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  44. David Jones Post author

    Next time Daniel let Marisa wear the stylish hat. Really enjoy theses types of enviromental on the fly shoots.

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  45. Paul Thompson Post author

    My favorite Daniel Norton video just because of Dan the Safety Muppet.

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  46. Eirik H. Post author

    It always good to get more creative ideas for future photoshoots. You should have tried getting a longer exposure as a train was passing. One of the shots towards the end almost turned out!

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  47. Alan Vandever Post author

    You mean there is a spot in NY where you can shoot without a permit?

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  48. Shawn Vine Post author

    So just the typical, glamorous people you see in the NY subway. Great shots and, as always, beautiful Marisa.

    Reply
  49. Randy Nazario Post author

    I liked that Marisa completely did her poses despite a commuter standing off of to the side between her and Daniel! Awesome!

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  50. nolaPIC Post author

    killer, Daniel and Marissa! More outside shoots!!!

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  51. Tennessee Rick Elliott Post author

    Loved the video! I was very impressed that you could shoot on location without having someone helping you (holding lights, carrying gear, etc.). I especially liked the shots with the train with motion blur. Side note: Marissa certainly enlightened me on the proper subway attire. 😉😂 Thanks for posting this. I really enjoy the information on location shoots.😃👍

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  52. Laurie Smith Post author

    Love the deep, golden glow on this shoot Daniel. That dress shines, it's all so warm. Marissa brings life and a wonderful …..sparkle to an industrial, gloom. Okay, I'm waffling on. Once again an informative video and good to see you out and about. Cheers.🦘

    Reply
  53. rauleduardo85 Post author

    Loved that Abed (from Community) at 3:13 Lol

    Reply
  54. steve nally Post author

    Fantastic. But being the US, didn't you have to have a permit to shoot there? I once tried to shoot a car outside the Griffith Park Observatory in LA when I was on holidays (OK it was a Porsche) and I'd barely put my camera to my eye when about four security guards came from nowhere and wanted to see my permit. Mind you, in Australia where I live it can be just as bad. If you try to do anything that looks even vaguely commercial that shows the Opera House in Sydney you can get jumped too, I've been told..

    Reply
  55. Dr Naguib Post author

    Merssa must be on board or the stake holder of adorama because we follow adorama to watch her and she is the main source of views on this channel 😂😂

    Reply
  56. Watha Suteesopon Post author

    Hi, it is a great vdo. Could you explain to me why Marisa might be blurry if there is light reflection from the train? Thanks.

    Reply
  57. Marcelino Nogueiro Post author

    Daniel, you and Marisa make a great team. Awesome and very inspiring video and that dress, priceless!

    Reply
  58. izmargad Post author

    I'm not sure I like the results this time but bringing a super clamp and a magic arm on location instead of a stand is a great advice!

    Reply
  59. Brian Kenneth Kondas Post author

    That was the first time I saw anyone use a clamp like that with a flash.

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  60. Brian Kenneth Kondas Post author

    that’s also the first time I heard anyone talk about ambient light causing soft focus with a long shutter speed such as 1/15 second. if I understand that correctly, if it’s very dark outside with very little ambient light, then you could shoot even longer shutter speed such as 1015 seconds with a flash and still get a sharp image. this of course assumes you’re using a tripod. I am wondering what focal length you were shooting at with such a slow shutter speed and hand held?

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  61. Shane Baker Post author

    Ok. Call me weird, but I think one of the best images was around 3:32 – showing off Marissa's hair. Not what you were going for, I know, but it works.

    Reply
  62. cuban wedding photographers and videographers Post author

    you are missing one hand of the model

    Reply
  63. Jim Atyeo Post author

    I know we are all armchair quarterbacks, but I would have loved to see a vertical shot of her full length with that whole ugly left side cropped out and panned right some to get Marisa in the left third and use the girder as the left hand border and get some shots of the close train and the further train since you are dragging the shutter to 1/15th. I held a card up and cropped on my monitor as I described and it looks awesome, plus you see better what is so important , Marisa. Just a thought, maybe you did that and we just didn't see that. As us older photographers know you never leave a scene until you have shot it from all the best vantage points. I tend to shoot both vertical and horizontal to make sure i don't have to go back. The close up shots are great. My best to the A team, M & D.

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  64. Avery McDaniel Post author

    What the focal length as for as lens that you are using?
    How far are you away from your subject?
    Where can I purchase that Super bracket?

    Reply
  65. Tex Texin Post author

    Finally a reason to support public transportation- so we have subways to shoot in!

    Reply

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