Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kitty Cowboy


This was an incredibly fun shoot, and came together so well for such a last minute thing. Some of it was luck, but also just developing a shooting style that works fast and furious and being really comfortable with my gear helped a ton. Because of how cold it was, I had my lighting stands already assembled with umbrella swivels attached, flash attached, and skyports velcroed and plugged in. This let me start shooting within about 5 minutes of arriving to the shoot location.

The settings for these was fairly simple, and I'm going to follow David Hobby's advice and stop listing details and start listing the useful information.

Camera was set to about -2 stops from ambient (meaning the sky was about middle grey, and the model was almost black with no flashes)
Flash one was set to +4 stops from ambient, and flash two was set to +2 from ambient level. This means flash two was making sure the model was properly exposed, and flash one was giving me some bright rim light.

I started by shooting without flashes, and getting my sky at the exposure that I wanted, ignoring the model. Then I raised one flash stand to full height, and one to about waist height. I was planning to use the tall one for my bright rim light, and the low one for fill. As I shot, I was constantly repositioning the flashes to work with the pose and setting. This is where having light, easy to relocate light stands was a real benefit. Every time I wasn't happy with the light position, I just picked up the stand and moved them. No cables, no weights, no light mods to worry about.


For this one I wish I had lowered the output of the secondary flash (the one on the left) so that her face wasn't lit so evenly, but it worked out alright.


These old gears were too awesome not to use as a prop.

For these shots, I tried using my flashes "un gelled" meaning they were pure white. This way I can color correct afterwards. It takes a bit more time, but I was finding that I was doing this even on my gelled shots to match everything just the way I wanted. This makes it faster for me to not have to use and balance gels, knowing I will do the correcting at the end.

I also placed the stronger light always in the same direction as the sun light was coming, so that it would look more natural. I think in the first shot, it isn't completely apparent that flashes were used, which is a look I'd like to be able to control on command.

There are more shots in the remainder of the set.


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