Monday, March 23, 2009

Maxim style shoot & return to the warehouse

This past Sunday we did a shoot with Julie, a model from the Big Island that I met through Model Mayhem. Kahulani was our makeup artist and Dan Sanchez was our hair stylist. It just so happened that Dan turned out to be a friend of Julie's, and he went all out making Julie's hair look awesome. We were able to get through several different looks that day, and had a lot of fun doing it.

Our first setup was a Maxim style shoot. I wanted to practice shooting this style of image and lighting, since I have not had much experience with it yet.

This was the basic setup. Originally Julie and I were thinking a bedroom scene would match the look better, but we were unable to get a location. So in the studio, we setup 2 C-stands and got a bunch of $5 curtains from WalMart to line the background. In front of that we setup a table and covered it with a $20 satin sheet set from Ross. That was our basic fake bedroom set.

For lighting, the main light was a WL 800 with a medium softbox and grid. In front and below the table is a California Sunbounce silver mini reflector to add a little fill. Behind the backdrop is an AB800 with a blue gel firing straight into the curtains. Above the table is another AB800, fitted with a 20 degree gridspot and aimed towards the back of the model's hair. With a fan to add some movement to her hair, we ended up with this.

Canon 1DmkII 70-200mm L @ 125mm 1/250 @ f5.6

After a quick lunch break, we went to our next location - the warehouse that I had shot at a few weeks ago. The manager that leases the property was once again gracious enough to allow us to shoot there. This time, we did a Bond Girl type of look. Evening dress with a lot of guns.

It was a REALLY windy day, and while we were shooting, we kept our fingers crossed that the whole building wouldn't come crashing down around our ears.

I tried to keep the lighting very basic. One WL1600 with a beauty dish in front for her main light and an SB26 with a 1/8 CTO gel behind her for rim light.

Canon 1DmkII 70-200mm L @ 200mm 1/60 @ f8

I then tried a technique I learned from Rolando Gomez at his Hana workshop several years ago. BTW, Rolando, I'm still waiting for the next Maui workshop ;-)

This technique involves white balancing the camera using a gel. I used an orange gel ( Roscoe 15, I think), put it over the lens of my camera and did a custom white balance off a sheet of paper. When I did a test shot after taking away the gel and setting the white balance to custom, everything turned blue. Then I took that same gel and put it over the beauty dish. This has the effect of keeping the subject normal color, but throwing everything else blue. This is sort of like setting the W/B to tungsten and mixing daylight with a CTO covered strobe, but the effect is more intense. To warm up the subject a little more, I added a 1/8 CTO gel on top of the Roscoe 15 on the beauty dish.

Here's the setup shot:

The final image:

Canon 5D iso 400 70-200mm L @ 200mm 1/200 @ f8

For our last setup, Julie wanted to do an expensive look, so she and the makuep artist Kahulani came up with the high fashion hitchhiker theme. I originally though of doing this with a California Sunbounce reflector, but the sun kept going behind the clouds. I ended up dragging the WL 1600+beauty dish out and used that instead.

Canon 1DmkII 70-200mm L @ 160mm 1/250 @ f5.6

We got some great images out of this day. I'm thinking I want to practice more with the Maxim style look. Still want to tweak the lighting setup more.

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