Monday, January 11, 2010

Shooting with two models in Lahaina

My friend TJ contacted me to do a shoot on Maui with her and her friend Rosemarie the weekend after I arrived back from Japan. I was (still am) recovering from massive jetlag, but since TJ is one of my favorite models to work with, I agreed to do it.

They were staying at a beach house in Lahaina owned by Christian Riese Lassen, who was kind enough to give us permission to do the photo session there.  My jaw dropped when I got there Saturday morning, as it was one of those locations I've always wanted to see.  It was the kind of place you could spend days at and never run out of things to shoot.  There was even an infinity pool which has been one of the things I've always wanted to shoot, but had to pass on that due to time and equipment restraints (I also had a studio shoot booked that afternoon on the other side of the island).

 Canon 5D 85mm 1.8 1/30 @ f4

First setup was in the garden. We started at about 8am, so the sun was just coming in through the trees. I shot a few headshots with the 85mm lens, with TJ holding a silver California Sunbounce micro mini reflector in front of her for a little fill.

There was a big statue in the garden that TJ wanted to incorporate into a shot.  She changed outfits and we started shooting with the statue.  The natural light was pretty nice all around so we worked with just that for while - no flash, no reflector.

Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/50 @ f4

Wanted to get a little bokeh off of the sunlight hitting the trees in the background so I used a 70-200mm lens mounted on a Really Right Stuff BH40 Ballhead and a Manfrotto 190CX tripod.  Think I was on Aperture Priority mode at the time.

Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/80 @ f4

For Rosemarie, I changed up the lighting a little.  I setup a white shoot thru umbrella with a 580EX flash and a Radiopopper trigger to add a little light to the front.  I also added a second 580EX and Radiopopper trigger on the ground behind her to add a little rim light.

 Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/80 @ f4

We then moved to a shaded spot near the front bamboo gate.  There was some light being reflected into the shadowed area from a large white truck parked nearby.  I setup the silver California Sunbounce micro mini reflector on a lightstand and positioned it next to the truck to boost the light going into the spot we were shooting in.

Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/60 @ f5.6

We then moved to the infinity pool.  I originally wanted to try getting low enough to make the pool seem to extend into the ocean, but because of the terrain, the only way I would have been able to do that would have been to partially submerge the camera and lens, and I didn't have a waterproof housing with me.

So I decided to shoot it a different way - by trying to overpower the sun. I setup a WL1600 in a large softbox to camera right and the silver sunbounce reflector on the left.  I had TJ spray herself with olive oil cooking spray to give her skin a nice sheen.

Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/200 @ f16

After we did a few shots here, I walked around the pool to see what else I could shoot without getting into the water.  On the far side of the pool, I found I could shoot at the very edge where the water flowed over.  I positioned Rosemarie on the other side of the pool, using natural light and the silver micro mini Sunbounce to add a little fill light.  The sunlight hitting her hair and rimlighting her was a happy accident.

Canon 1DmkII  70-200mm 2.8L 1/250 @ f8

At this point I had switched to the 1DmkII as it had a slightly tighter crop factor which was useful since I was shooting across the length of the pool. (Plus my 5d batteries were starting to die on me as well).

One of the last shots we did was both TJ and Rosemarie together. 

Canon 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 1/250 @ f8

This was a really fun shoot and was over far too quickly.  I would be curious to see how a night shoot at this location would work, maybe with the pool lit up with different colored lights.

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