Shooting a Fashion Show 2

Earlier this Autumn I covered the Harvey Nichols A/W fashion show. Some of the photos were published in Manchester’s Style Etc along with an interview article (above). The article went to print this month so I can now feature the piece in my blog. Woo!  Hit the jump for more pics and the geeky lighting info…

Geeky lighting info:
I have put lighting diagrams below each photo. The light set up never changes – it is just my position that changes. I have already done a blog on lighting behind the scenes fashion show here but there were a few tweaks! The lighting on this shoot is pretty much the same technique but I used a bigger more parabolic silver umbrella this time. I had a large parabolic umbrella with a profoto head one side of the room and a Nikon speed light bouncing off a white wall on the other for fill. Simple. I love the specular quality of the giant silver umbrella. As I said in my last post, a speedlight in a large umbrella would get a similar effect.
There were a couple differences from last time though. I had a quarter green gel and a half CTO on the umbrella. This subtle difference in colour between my main light (the umbrella) and my fill light (the bounced speedlight) helps to seperate the light out. I think it gives the images more dimension. The bounced flash was zoomed to 105mm and about a ft from the wall. Also there was some blackout material across one wall which you can see in the picture above in the back ground – this didn’t make much difference in the shot above, but in the shot below I’m on the otherside of the room, with the black out drapes behind me, and it makes a big difference. As you can see, the part of the model facing me is in shadow – the blackout material is absorbing that light. On the left you can see my umbrella light  shining on her face and on the right you can see the glow of my fill light, particularly on her hair. I liked the drama of the shadow and if I had had a white wall behind me, rather than a black wall, it would not have had that strong shadow. The white wall behind me would have reflected too much light and washed out the shadows. I now carry a background support which is 3.6m wide and some black out material with me so if I’m in a small white walled area and I’m getting too much bounce I can errect that blackout material behind me and kill that bounce so I get my crisp deeper shadows. This also adds dimension. The great thing about this set up is I have my camera set to manual with one exposure dialed in and the exposure is spot on even though people are moving around within the area I’m shooting in. This is because I have pulled my main light far back, and the area I am shooting in is in the low drop off zone. If the low drop off zone doesn’t mean anything, I have written a full explanation here. None of these shots are posed, the models are just waiting around to go out onto the cat walk.

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