Thursday, July 16, 2009

Setup details for Bob's portrait shoot...

Here are the lighting details from yesterdays post of the portrait session with my friend Bob.

I used 5 flashes, 3 Nikon SB-800's, and 2 SB-24's, all manually set (we don't need no stinkin' TTL), and all fired with Pocket Wizards.

#1. This flash was setup at the 5 o'clock position, about six feet off the ground and with a snoot. This was used for highlighting the stone birdbath that was next to the gate (and Bob).

#2. This flash was at the 2 o'clock position and was about 3 feet off the ground. It had a Gary Fong Lightsphere on it, the top was removed, and the open end (top) was pointed at the foliage. I had the Lightsphere on without the tops because I wanted to throw strong light over the center (and top) of the patch of plants, with more defuse light as it moved towards the outside edges.

#3. This flash was sitting on the ground about 12 feet behind the gate and pointing straight up to light up the trunks of three trees that were grouped closely together.

#4. This flash was 1 foot behind the gate, also pointing straight up, this was to highlight leaves that were several feet over Bobs head.

Because I only have five wizards (ya, I know - "ooooh, poor Scott") and needed six for this shoot I used a "Y" cable with an extension cord to link flashes #3 and #4 together, allowing them to be triggered with a single Pocket Wizard.

#5. This flash is on a paint pole using a Kacey Pole Adapter and had on a 2' x 2' soft box, it was held a couple feet above and to the front of Bob.

I shot the portrait as it was getting (quite) dark as I thought this kind of lighting would make the garden more dramatic, and I wanted to challenge myself as well.

If I had it to do over there are a few things I would do differently:

I would put LED lights on the stone birdbath, it may have provided a more interesting image.

Put a green gel over flash #2 may have given the plants depth and a more "vibrant" look.

Flash #5 should have been brought more to the front of Bob (closer to the camera) as it would have done a better job lighting his eyes.

Below is a diagram of the lighting setup, a photograph from the shoot showing some of the flashes, and an image of the gate taken while we were setting up.

(clicking on any of the images will have them open larger and in a new window)



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