Monday, January 26, 2009

Fiona Evening part 1


Settings: Ambient is 1 stops below neutral grey. Flash one is just to the right of the photographer aimed at the ground, at 1 stops above neutral grey. Flash 2 is off frame left, and even with model, zoomed to 105mm and 1.5 stops above neutral grey.

I had a really nice 3 hour shoot this past weekend. Fiona is a friend of mine, and very beautiful, with a great sense of fashion, so it made sense to ask her out on a shoot. I've had the feeling I've been over-lighting a lot of my portraits when I go out to do location stuff, so I wanted to try to be a bit more subtle. This was a project to work on that. It was also my first shoot out with my new (used) 5D body. I love working with full frame.

I had some vague ideas in mind, and locations, but I needed to figure out more on what I wanted before dragging her and my lights out for the real thing. I did a research trip, which greatly helped. I visited the locations with just my camera and lenses the night before, and figured out angles and composition. After getting home, I was able to also think about final lighting.

Here is the research trip image:


For this setting, I knew I wanted to have her sit on the chain in the right side. It would work well compositionally, plus it would put her against a dark portion of the image. By then lighting her, it would really help her pop out from the background. I wanted to use the lamp post as a mental "light source" Meaning my brightest light would come from it's general direction, so as to imply it being the light source. My second light source would act as a fill from the right side, and be much softer and a stop less in intensity.


The flash from the left worked perfectly as a bright light source, but it left some harsh shadows on her face. I needed a soft, dimmer light source from the right to fill it in. I would have liked to use an umbrellas, but it was quite windy and I had no assistant to hold the stand. I ended up setting the flash to about 1.5 meters height, zoomed it to 50mm, powered it up a bit and aimed it at the ice in front of her. It worked great as a large soft fill. I ended up having to darken the ice below her feet in post, to hide the light source and keep attention on her face, but it was a really nice result.

One quick note on the main flash. It was zoomed to 105mm, but I aimed it upwards so that the feathered edge of the beam hit her around the waist height. If it had been aimed directly at her, there would have been harsh shadows leading away from her legs. I used that extensively on this shoot, using just the feathered edge to touch her head, but fade out before the lower body.

Two more after an outfit change. Same lighting setup.



1 comment:

  1. Great set of images. Prefer the second change of outfit (red skirt) as it adds more punch to images