This image was made at the United States Military Academy at West Point April, 2005, as part of a cover story for TIME Magazine. The three cadets (about to graduate from the academy) are pictured standing within the Great Chain (at Trophy Point) with a view of the Hudson River beyond. The links in the photo were actually part of The Great Chain which stretched across the Hudson River at West Point during the Revolutionary War to act as a barrier to enemy ships.
The photograph was set up in about ten minutes and executed in less than five! (The young cadets were constrained by their rigorous schedule.) A single Qflash with the telephoto (parabolic) reflector was mounted on a high overhead boom just to the right of the camera. A full CTO lighting gel was taped over the reflector to warm up the light considerably, and the ambient daylight was underexposed by about a stop and a half to lend a heroic, painterly feel to the image. I'm a huge fan of the under appreciated telephoto reflector; to me it's like a grid spot on steroids! Rather than cutting out extraneous light to create a spot effect, the tele-reflector actually concentrates the light into a spot. The huge benefit of this is that the strobe is being used far more efficiently, which means one can power down a great deal (to conserve battery life, speed up recycle time, and shorten flash duration) or simply get far more usable output at any given setting if f-stop or carrying distance is what's needed. The beauty of the Qflash is its compactness, simplicity, and ease of set up, and the FreeXWire facilitates fluid, hand-held flexibility of movement, unfettered by wires or cables.
Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II
Lens: Canon 17-40 zoom @17mm
Exposure: 1/250th sec @F14
Color Temperature setting: 4250K