At the end of last year I did a shoot with the lovely Helen Batchelor and vintage make up artist Bethany Jane Davies, and I mentioned I would do a proper post on it so here it is. Antwerp mansion in December is an extremely cold place and despite having brought hot tea in thermoses and snacks to keep energy up it was a tough shoot. In fact Helen having spent a good portion of the shoot in underwear managed to catch the flu the next day. Lovely! Never-the-less it was fun to mess around and I try to do a shoot once a month that is a bit different from what I would normally do and is not for money, just to keep the creativity and learning on track. For this shoot I wanted to use some old stage lights I bought ages ago and see how they worked with strobe lighting. Hit the jump to get the geeky break down on lighting set ups…
The first two setups I was going for a ‘stage feel’ and the first one I wanted to keep simple so I set up the spot light on a frame on the ceiling and pointed it towards a square block on the floor. I positioned the block slightly forward of the light so that the light was coming from behind to create a rim-light affect. I then a had my assistant who was kindly volunteering on the day to squirt smoke at the beam of light and then fan it with a reflector to the back of the room. If the smoke gets between the subject and my lens it will just get murky so that is to be avoided. I was tempted to move on from the silhouette and put a softbox up for fill somewhere but it was freezing and I was happy with the shots so far so I decided to go to the next setup. For this I had two continuous hot lights called ‘cans’, the lightbulb sits in the front where you can see the disc and reflects of the back of the can which is reflective. This reflective back can be moved forward and backward so you can widen or narrow the beam. I put Gemma (whilst helen was wrapped in as many cloths as we could find) in front of these to get an exposure with just the rim light from the two cans and then turned on a big soft box low and to the left of the camera for fill and turned that up till I was happy I had enough light to fill whilst still having a nice powerful backlight feel.
The final setup I wanted a more editorial look so I setup a big softbox with a cannon speedlight in it to my left as the main light.
Then I positioned an shoot-through umberella to my right and turned it up till I got enough fill.
Then I put up a grided vivitar 285 hv behind and to the right of the subject so I could get some highlights of Helen’s fantastic vintage hair do.
Job done – let me know if you have any questions! Next couple of blogs will be about two jobs I have done recently which have been quite interesting!