Thursday, December 31, 2009

Studio shoot in Tokyo

Currently going over the results of two photoshoots I had scheduled in Japan this month.  The first one was in a studio with actress/model Maya Murofushi.

Sweet Studio is located in Edogawabashi, a few stops on the Yurakucho line from Ikebukuro.  It's a pretty nice small studio to work out of, with a variety of looks.  The walls were all white, however, and posed a bit of a challenge lighting-wise.

One of the walls had a partial brick texture on it, which I wanted to enhance by positioning flashes to fire along the wall.  I added a blue gel to 2 SB26 flashes and arranged them so that the light would scatter along the wall.  I did a couple of tests, but found I wasn't getting the coverage I wanted.  So I moved them out away from the wall and aimed them more directly to the wall.

The main light was an SB 26 with a white shoot thru umbrella and a 1/4 CTO gel. I also added another SB26 with a 1/4 CTO gel behind the models to create a separation light.

Because the studio was very small, I could not setup the model's position far enough from the wall to prevent the main light from contaminating the background.  So I ended up having to lower the background brightness in post.

Did some shots without the gels as well. The lighting for this was an SB26 with a Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe Softbox to camera right.

The studio had some basic lighting equipment included with the rental, so we utilized it for our final setups since we were running short on time.

This is with a hotlight in a 6 or 7 foot giant Rifa Softbox to camera left.  I had JAB use a California Sunbounce Micro Mini as a fan to add some motion to Maya's hair.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rescuing a Pocket Wizard

On my recent shoot with Rosanna, I ran into a slight mishap with one of my Pocket Wizard tranceivers.

We had just finished the shot with her at the edge of the cliff and were changing locations when Rosanna knelt down and fished something out of the water - my Pocket Wizard. She handed it to me and asked "is this yours?". My stomach kinda flipflopped right there 'cause I figured it was toast - and at 170 bucks a pop, a very expensive piece of toast. I opened the battery compartment to take out the batteries, and some water spilled out - yup, toast.

When I got back to Maui that evening, I went online to B&H to order another one when I remembered that I had a Sekonic light meter that went through the washing machine one time and still worked after drying it out. (I have a bad history with electronics....;-) )

I figured "what the heck". I loosened the screws on the Pocket Wizard to open it up a little and shook as much water as I could out of it. I then put it into a small Gladware container with a big pack of dessicant, sealed it up and left it alone for a couple of days.

Opened it up today, re-tightened the screws and inserted fresh batteries. Connected it to my SB26, turned it on and crossed my fingers. Whaddya know, it WORKED!!!! I just saved myself $170 + shipping. :-).

Now I just need to figure out a way to attach the Pocket Wizard to my flash more solidly so that this won't happen again. The industrial strength Velcro I had on it before didn't seem to work too well.

Taken just before my Pocket Wizard went for a swim.