lp160

BTS Tuesday - The Dancer

I recently reposted an old image of mine on Instagram and got a few questions about how I set up the lighting. Going through my old images, I don't have any good BTS shots of the lighting set up, so I thought I'd do it the old fashioned way and draw out a diagram and do this little write up. I figure this might be pretty fun to do regularly with images old and new, so BTS Tuesday is now a thing on my blog. Yay!

The Set Up

The lighting set up for my photograph "The Dancer"

My family is very blessed to have an incredibly talented group of family and friends whom have often become the subjects of photo projects, one such person is the truly gifted Victoria Souder. She is a dancer and studio owner in Moreno Valley, CA and this was our first attempt at collaborating together. I was doing a mini portrait project where I was photographing people I knew doing what they loved. 

We were to shoot together at her studio after class, which I knew would be challenging because, as some dance studios are laid out, the entire west wall was a mirror that ran the length of the room. Judicious use of flags would be the key here. 

I knew I wanted my final product to be low-key with dramatic rim light and heavy shadow, and that Victoria would be mid-motion. I set up my only two studio lights at the time (two Calumet Genesis 200's) directly to the left and the right of Victoria, with only the standard reflector, we were going with hard, focused light. I set up my flags to keep stray light off my lens and had to double them up to also block reflections in that mirror wall. We snapped a few shots and they were ok, but missing something. 

An outtake from my first shoot with Victoria Souder

Victoria did some amazing things, but I wanted to add a little flare (Zing!) to the shots. I wanted them to feel less heavy and more like a presentation of immense talent, but with that low-key look. It was time to break out my trusty LumoPro flashes. 

I added both of my LumoPro LP160 manual flashes to the rear of Victoria, to be shown in frame light stage lights. These lights would also even out the rim lighting I was getting from the Genesis mono lights. The result: "The Dancer"

"The Dancer" Model: Victoria Souder 

This image was also featured in the book Strobox Vol. 2, the yearly highlight of the best images on strobox.com. You can purchase a copy here: http://strobox.com/book/vol2. This is a really cool book with a lot of great images, all of which include lighting diagrams and information on how they were shot. Check it out and support the site!

The Smoking Gun - Neon Noir Still Life Tribute

Another evening at home with nothing but ideas, this still life was shot as a tribute to the "neon noir" crime thrillers of the 1980's

Tech Details

Set: In studio, black sheet as backdrop

Lights: Canon 580exII from top left with red gel, LumoPro LP160 with blue gel from below, both gridded with Rogue speedlight grids

Other Notes: I used matches which create lots of smoke when extinguished to get the smoke effect. This image is straight out of camera, no post processing whatsoever. 

Guitar - Still Life Product Photography

Sometimes models are hard to come by and you get the itch to make something happen. I had one such evening, so I grabbed my guitar and decided to work on a little still life/product photography. Something a little more artsy than catalog. 

Tech Details

Set: In studio, black sheet for the backdrop

Lights: Canon 580exII in a small softbox camera left, gold reflector camera right, LumoPro LP160 camera right with flag covering the neck.


Chelsea - Sunset at Any Time of Day

I invited Chelsea over again to work test out a portrait method. I was getting ready to shoot a morning-to-midday wedding and I wanted to see if I could mimic a dramatic sun set portrait with a pair of speedlights and a CTO gel. 

Tech Details

Set: My backyard, 2pm in shade

Lights: LumoPro LP160 with 1/2 CTO gel to rear of subject. Canon 580exII in LumiQuest LTp softbox

Other Notes: I think this was pretty effective. You can spice up your typical "Midday open shade" portrait when natural light isn't optimal by using a pair of speedlights, a gel and a small softbox. Not too shabby.