Thursday, January 6, 2011

Studio shoot with Kayo and Yasuko

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso800 1/60@f2.8

Kayo is a model in Japan that I have wanted to work with for a couple of years now, but everytime we tried to setup a shoot, our schedules just would not allow it.  We caught a break and were finally able to do a studio shoot together this past December.  We shot at the White Studio near Edogawabashi station, which I used on a previous shoot with model Stephanie Kei.

Kayo also brought along another model, her friend Yasuko.  Having a second model on the shoot who could also assist made setups go much quicker.

I also got to give my dream lens a proper workout - the Canon 85mm f1.2L II lens. I picked it up secondhand the day before at Map Camera in Shinjuku along with the first generation IS version of the 70-200 f2.8L. I had originally planned to pick up the IS II version of the 70-200 f2.8L, but by trading in my older versions of these lenses and using my saved up points, I was able to get two lenses for less than the cost of the 70-200 IS II lens.

For this shoot I used the 85mm for about 99% of the images. I only swapped it out on two setups- one where I used a 24-105mm f4L to get just a little wider and then for the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS when I needed to compress a background.  Using a prime lens really helps you think more about setting up a particular shot and working out angles.  You have to "zoom with your feet" as opposed to just standing in one spot and moving the zoom in and out.  In run and gun wedding situations, a zoom lens is still essential IMHO, but I think in the near future (when I can afford it), I might switch to using just primes for model photoshoots.

For the first setup we kept it pretty simple, and just used the large softbox light provided by the studio.  I positioned this off to camera right and we started shooting, alternating between Kayo and Yasuko.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/80@f2.8

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso250 1/100@f2.8

While we were changing to our next setup, I noticed the light from a window near the bed cast a nice streak against the wall.  Working fast, I had Yasuko switch outfits and positioned her in the path of the light.  Unfortunately the angle of the light from outside did not cast enough light on where she was, so we had to cheat it a bit.  I setup an SB26 with a cardboard snoot to camera right and raised it as high as I could on the light stand.  I then had Kayo angle it down so that the light came down onto Yasuko's face, mimicking the angle of the light coming in through the window.  We were trying for the look of early morning light coming in through a bedroom window.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso400 1/160@f8

Once we finished with this, we started with Kayo's second look - an open men's shirt with a tie.  I had her lean against the wall and lit her with an SB26 in a Prokit beauty dish.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f5.6

In order to clear this section of the wall, I had moved a table that had a mirror on it.  While shooting Kayo, I happened to notice her reflection in the mirror.  With a few more positioning adjustments, we were able to get this shot using the mirror as a frame.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f5.6

For Yasuko's next look, we moved back to the first area.  This time, instead of using the large studio softbox, I used the SB26/beauty dish combo, and another SB26 with a ProKit reflector as a kicker/edge light.  I added a CTO gel + 1/8 CTO gel to both flashes and set the camera white balance on tungsten to add a bluish tint to the light coming in from the window while keeping the model's color normal.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f4

Also tried adding a bit of motion with a hair dryer.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f3.2

For this next look, I used the SB26/beauty dish as the main light.  A silver California Sunbounce Micro mini below was added to help fill the shadows.
The studio did have a white backdrop, but it was not a roll of white seamless.  It was a slightly off white canvas with some folds in it.  To help hide that, I put another SB26 with a Stofen omnibounce pointed at the backdrop to blow it out to white. I also used the 70-200mm f2.8L IS racked out to 200 to compress/blur the background and hide the edges of the backdrop (which wasn't very wide)

Canon 5D mkII 70-200mm f2.8L IS Lens iso200 1/160@f4

We then did some shots back in the area of the studio we first started in.  For these I used just the natural light coming in from the window.

Canon 5D mkII 24-105mm f4 IS Lens iso800 1/60@f4

The studio is quite small.  To get a wider shot of Kayo from this particular angle, I had to switch to the 24-105.  Thinking a 50mm 1.2 L lens is next on my to-buy list.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso250 1/80@f1.8

We switched to the bed set next as we were starting to run out of time on our studio rental.

For Kayo's set I used the SB26/Beauty dish for the main and another SB26 with a ProKit reflector for the backlight. Yasuko added motion to Kayo's hair by fanning her with a California Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector.

 Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f4.5

For Yasuko' set, I added some silk rose petals and used a shoot thru umbrella on the main light for a softer feel.
Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/125@f4.5

We ended with a few headshots.  I used 2 SB26 flashes, both with shoot thru umbrellas stacked vertically in a clamshell configuration.  California Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector used again for adding motion to the hair, although a couple of times it almost knocked over the lightstands and umbrellas.  Need to remember to sandbag the lightstands next time.

Canon 5D mkII 85mm f1.2L II Lens iso200 1/160@f4

This was a really fun shoot to do, and there was not enough time to do everything we wanted.  Looking forward to the next time I'll be able to work with Kayo and Yasuko.


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