This was one of my favourite set-ups from Simat + JT’s engagement shoot. I really like the straight-on top-down lighting scheme. In the past, I usually did this by having someone hold the light from behind and tilted towards the subject, but it’s pretty limiting. A boom would be the ideal solution but would need a pretty heavy base for it to be secure and carrying too much gear is always an issue for location shoots.
This setup is with a backdrop support with a crossbar, then I used a Superclamp to secure the softbox in the middle. Still not the perfect solution since I’m limited to frame between the backdrop support system and can’t go too wide. The weight of the softbox makes the crossbar deflect a bit and was a bit scary at first. Would like to try this out again with a gridded softbox or a beauty dish!!
There was suppose to be a shoot this weekend for a MUA (of whom I first met as a bride!) that wanted to update her portfolio…but that fell through last minute (for the second time) when two out of three models decide to flake! We were both really looking forward to this, ruined all the planning and time that Kasthury has put in the shoot!
Anyways, I decided I needed to bust out all the lights to shoot to make myself feel better. I picked up these boots last Friday, never really had boots before but these are nice and comfy.
I started out with SB-800s in two softboxes as rim lights just behind the boots, I liked how the large light source (relatively) reflected off the side of the boots sort of like a specular highlight. Then I moved one of the softboxes (camera left) towards the front as a bit of a fill to bring out some details between the shoes since I wasn’t getting any specular highlights off that side of the boots anyways. However, this left the boots blending into the dark background on the left side. I then added a snooted SB-800 as a kicker on camera left where I moved the softbox from to add a hard rim.
As suggested by many tutorials online, it is good practice to add one light in at a time when you are working with multiple lights to see how each one affects the image. Here’s how the lights in this setup affected the final image one by one. (Softbox CL, Softbox CR, Kicker)
I’m also abusing this backdrop quite a bit lately…was too lazy to grab the roll of seamless from the garage.. will need to go backdrop shopping again soon!
The set up for Opal’s shoot. This was done on the fly so I went with my favourite and simplest high key set up. Two SB-800′s as the background lights (flagged to prevent flares) and a SB-900 in a softbox as the main. This is also the first time I am using this new softbox in a studio setting, I love the catch light it produces oppose to an umbrella.
The ability to control spill through a softbox is also that much better. This was especially apparent when I wasn’t blowing out the white background. Unfortunately my garage is not long enough for me to get enough space between Opal and the background to test out how dark I can make the white backdrop.
One night a lady invaded my room. But she was a bug. My first reaction was “GRAB THE CAMERA!”…kind of sad.
The set up was thrown together relatively quickly after one shot of just using the bare flashes. The specular highlights were point sources even though the diffuser is many times the size of the lady bug. So I threw some A4 paper in front of the flashes and jacked up the power (lost about 3 stops of power from the paper).
This is like standing next to a softbox as large as a couple stories high if you were the lady bug.
Focusing as tough because of the extremely narrow depth of field even at f16, not to mention the millions of sensor dust that I have to clone out.
The resulting shots
When I see a for sale post of something, pictures contribute to the decision so much. I hate seeing a stock image from the manufacturer used. Experience tells me that if I take some time to represent the item properly, the sale happens quicker and without any troubles.
A set up I use when I photography lenses that I plan to sell or just making gear porn. This is a Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 I’m trying to sell here.
So the SB-900 is snooted up to in my ‘ghetto boom’ or tilted light stand to just give a splash of light for the peddle lens hood so it is separated from the background.
The two SB-800′s on the side are flag with foam sheets to control the light from spilling into the background. The zoom on these two are at it’s widest settings since I wanted the spread to be able to cover the entire side. I may want to move the flashes a bit further back in this shot as I may have blown out the highlights a bit.
The final shot here:
The UW photo club had a shoot yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the right location where everyone else was. But the shoot was still fun and interesting. Tegan showed up and was very enjoyable to work with!
Andrew brought a load of gear and I got to play with some interesting setups.
Bought a set of new wine glasses too, even though they’re not DF’s 50 dollar/glass, so I want to show them off. I can’t call myself a wine enthusiast but I certainly enjoy wine. I have been regularly tasting (drinking) with DF and been documenting the group’s get-togethers for DF’s blog.
These are some of the more refined shots I have taken thus far.
The set up as follows.
1) I didn’t want to set up my white backdrop so I decided to just shoot on the bar top. It has a glossy vinyl surface so it’s quite versatile in it’s appearance depending on what angle you shoot at. Please don’t mind the junk…
4) Because of how I laid out the bottles, one key light on the left would leave the bottle on the right side underexposed. So…SB800 on a shoot through on camera right. I moved that background light behind the bar and pointed up. You’ll notice a bit of spill on the light on camera right, fixed this by flagging the speedlight.
Be sure to check out these wines at DF’s blog
From Left to Right:
2008 Thirty Bench Riesling
2004 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Kabinett
2008 Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling
I make an effort to make the flash as seamless as possible relative to the environment. Gels are important for an on-location shoots where you want to balance the background with the flash. You often see indoor shots where the subject in the proper white balance while the background with ambient tungsten light is orangy-red. Adding gels to unify the temperature of the light avoid weird tints in the shot.
In this situation, there’s some mixed lighting so it made it sorta difficult to match. I turned off some of the lights that weren’t needed so that I would only be working with one temperature. I used a 1/2 CTO gel for my flashes but it didn’t match the ambient perfectly. I set my WB to tungsten and the flashes still seemed a bit blue relative to the ambient lights. At the beginning of the event when there was still light coming from the outside, it was very difficult to work with since the temperatures of light had too much variety from the light coming in from the windows to the ones coming from the incandescent bulbs. Things got better and more consistent as the night went along after the sun set.
Two speedlights were placed in the main room, one in the kitchen area, and one on camera. Initially I used a piece of black foam to flag the flashes and pointed towards the ceiling, so that it would be less distracting to the guests. However, I lost a lot of light and it just wasn’t enough to light the room, so I removed the flag and just used a diffuser to bounce off the ceiling.
The shots for this event here.
After testing out the thunder gray (step-by-step set up here) with Ben, I found out how much of a newb I am with it and decide to just do a quick switch back to the trustworthy arctic white.