Thursday, February 26, 2009

Improvising on-site

This past Sunday, I had the chance to work with Andrea, a photographer/model from Bali. We also had Kat, a great makeup artist on Maui. This was a short session, which we did at a rental house in Paia.

This shoot was done in the living room, with windows all around, and an open doorway. There was no way to cover all the windows to get directional light, so I had to improvise.

Using two Photoflex lightstands and a Litedisc holder as a crossbar,I set up a 16' roll of black duvetyne fabric at one end of the living room and let it run the length of the living room. The front end of the roll ended up near the open doorway.

In the doorway, I set up an AB800 on 1/2 power and attached a small strip softbox with a grid to keep the light mainly on the subject. To check the placement of the light, I walked over to the background and looked at my light from that point of view. I did this several times and adjusted the angle of the light until I could no longer see the face of the softbox from the point of view of the background. This insured that no light from the softbox would hit the backdrop.

To control the ambient light in the room, I set my camera to 1/250 @ f16, the maximum shutter sync speed I could do with my Canon 1DmkII and triggered the AB800 with a set of Pocket Wizards.

We tried several different poses, but weren't really happy with what we were getting. When we took a short break, the makeup artist fixed Andrea's makeup and that was when we saw this shot.

Rise, originally uploaded by Mizomi Photography.

This is actually a horizontally framed shot where Andrea is leaning toward the light on the left, but compositionally, I thought it looked cool as a vertical image.

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