Sunday, August 17, 2008

Triple light!


A friend of mine asked me to take some portraits out near Gróto, here in Iceland. I had an idea for a lighting setup right away, but I would need to borrow a third light for it. Luckily a friend of mine has the same setup as I do (vivitar 285hv with skyports) so I asked him if I could borrow it.

Here is the setup diagram (this is the same 3D view, twice. Top version is from the front, bottom version is from above):

3 Vivitar 285hv
2 rim lights at 1/4 power,
at telephoto zoom setting,
through 1/2 CTBlue gels,
1 main light at 1/16 power,
at telephoto zoom setting,
through 1/4 CTOrange gel,
through Lumiquest softbox II,
rim light stands were at 1.5 meters height,
light was slightly behind subject, and 3 meters to the sides of the subject, just outside of the frame,
aimed a bit up to feather downward,
main light on boom arm held by assistant,
1 meter above face and in the front.

I wanted an extremely wide view, with rim light on either side. I knew this would make the subject pop, but I didn't want to take it too extreme. I started at 1/16 power on the rim lights, but it didn't show up quite enough, so I popped them to 1/4 (I've only hacked one of them, so I only have 1/8 on a single flash, out of the box, 285hvs don't have 1/8 power). The blue is to unify with the coldish color of the background.

The main was a bit harder, as it needed to be held. Without an assistant, this would have been near impossible. There would have been a light stand in the scene, and it was far too windy for a large C-stand. I put the lumiquest softbox so the light wouldn't be too harsh, and a 1/4 CTOrange gel. Not only is warmer light more flattering for portraits, but it would contrast well with the coldness of the rest of the scene, showing exactly where the focus point is. I left this main flash at 1/16 as I knew that since it was much closer, it would be strong enough. This was also my hacked flash, so I could have gone as low as 1/1024 if I needed to. In hindsight, I wish I would have tried a shot or two at 1/32 or 1/64.

For post processing on the above shot, I made a custom mask for the clouds and adjusted the curves to get a bit more funky sky color and definition.

This was a lot of fun having access to a third flash, and I might have to add a third flash to my kit soon. There are several other photos from this shoot, but they will be in tomorrow's post.


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