Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Studio shoot with Mandi and Kat

My second photoshoot this past Saturday was in studio with model Mandi Reanne and makeup artist Kahulani. We were assisted by fellow photographer Allan from Icandy Maui.

I had previously worked with Mandi on a waterfall shoot last year and it was great to have the chance to work with her again.

For this shoot we concentrated mainly on headshots with different makeup looks.
To make the setups go quickly, we had four lights setup in position, turning them off and on as we needed:

Main light -1 Alien Bees AB800 in a beauty dish mounted on a C-stand above and slightly right of center.

Rim lights - 2 AB800s in small strip softboxes behind the model at 45 degrees to either side

Background light - 1 AB800 with a background shovel reflector.

Reflector - silver California Sunbounce micro mini on small light stand in front.

Control of each light was with an Alien Bees LG4X Four-Channel Wired Remote Control.  This made it easier than running around to each light and adjusting the power on each one.

The big white panels in the photo above are styrofoam sheets from Home Depot joined together with gaffer's tape to form V-panels.  Initially we set them up intending to bounce light into them, but we ended up mainly using them to help flag the rimlights from flaring into the camera.

The first setup used just the beauty dish light.  We turned off the other three lights and moved in a black curtain behind the model. We hung black duvetyne fabric from a C-stand and positioned it very close to Mandi, just out of the frame to help deepen the shadows.

Canon 5D iso100 70-200mm 2.8L lens 1/160 @ f11

For the second setup, we turned on the two rimlights.  When we were testing, Allan came up with the idea to gel the lights.  We looked through our gels and found 2 Roscoe #15 Deep Straw gels.  Allan and I attached them to the strip softboxes and did some more tweaking of the lights.  To help intensify the effect, we took out the main baffle of each strip box and left just the inner baffle in place.

The lighting and gels worked really well with Kat's makeup work for the second look.

 Canon 5D iso100 70-200mm 2.8L lens 1/160 @ f11

Something I found out about my 5D when we were testing the lights - even though the 5D's flash sync speed is rated at 1/200,  the actual sync speed limit is 1/160.

While shooting this second look, we accidentally stumbled upon another lighting setup when I adjusted the position of the main light. It unplugged itself when I moved it and on the next image, only the rear rimlights fired.  Because of Allan's gels on the rimlights, the silhouette effect was pretty cool.

Canon 5D iso100 70-200mm 2.8L lens 1/160 @ f11

We played around with this setup, doing both silhouettes and fully lit headshots until we got what we wanted.

For our last lighting setup, we removed the black curtain, turned on all 4 AB800s, took off the gels from the rimlights and replaced the baffles.

 Canon 5D iso100 70-200mm 2.8L lens 1/160 @ f11

We put the black duvetyne next to her for slight shadow on her cheek and brought in the silver Sunbounce reflector in very low to soften the chin shadow.

We wrapped pretty late on this shoot, I think around 8 or 9 pm, but we got some great shots out of it.

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