So I'd pretty much forgotten that I'd volunteered to be an alternate photographer for the newspaper here when I got a call from the photo editor on duty that due to a bunch of sick shooters, they were looking for someone to do an environmental portrait of a local music producer for their magazine. I made a quick panicked call to Jack for a morale-boosting pep talk, then called them back and said I'd do it.
I was supposed to shoot this producer dude interacting with musicians, but then it turned out that they were recording in one building and his sound board was in another. I had the brilliant idea to photograph him at his computer so that you could see the recording studio through the the windows in front of him. Unfortunately, if I set the camera so that there was enough light in the room, the windows glowed like the apocalypse was going on outside. And if I switched things up so that the red walls of the studio showed up clearly, the room turned into a dark, amorphous cave.
Eventually we'll learn how to balance light in Advanced Techniques, but for now I was on my own. I'm glad I didn't know ahead of time that I'd be so out of my depth technically, but as it was I just started playing around with my flash (an SB-800 for photo geeks) using a diffuser and bouncing the light off of a piece of white cardboard I had rubber-banded to the strobe. I got a few shots where the light on my subject was way too bright and made him look slightly irradiated, but for the most part I think I dealt with the situation pretty effectively.
In the end, I don't think the magazine people will end up using that particular photo anyway since I did wind up catching a few decent shots of the fellow interacting with the musicians he was recording after all, but it was good practice nonetheless and hopefully I'll experience a tad less performance anxiety next time I'm called upon to go shoot something for publication. Every new situation works to boost my confidence as a photographer, so I guess it's just a matter of patience and trusting that I really am learning and growing here.