Too many of my recent projects required generic, even lighting. The theater rehearsals, the award recipients (see the previous post), the quickie headshots: Time constraints demanded that I set up hit and run lighting I could depend on for a flattering, if boring, look, regardless of the subject’s features, skin tone, hight, etc.
Last night I rebelled. Asked at the last minute to capture some publicity shots of a local theater’s preparation for their annual holiday show, I decided to go for a more dramatic look.
I wanted to simulate window light, so I placed both of my flashes and umbrellas together on one side of the piano. I placed the SB800 at about eight feet, angled down toward the piano bench. The SB600 was about 6 feet up, at the same angle as the taller flash, but a couple of feet to the left. The umbrellas were edge-to-edge in a kind of diagonal figure eight.
Our proximity to the corner did produce a little bit of fill light, so the shadowed side of the performer’s faces were not completely dark. On the down side, many images include the room’s clutter and/or brightly and busily painted walls.
The bigger the light source, the softer the light. The two umbrellas combined to simulate a single, very big light. The closer the light source, the less light on the background. Had I moved the lights closer to the piano, I may have cast the background into deeper shadows, but it would have been hard to keep people at various distances adequately lit. After I see the images on my computer, I can always think of a hundred ways to do them differently. For now, I’m happy that I did these differently from what I’ve been doing lately. Directional lighting is a lot of fun, and I look forward to playing with this a lot more. In fact, tonight I’m shooting a two-person play rehearsal, and I suspect they’re going to look like the cover of Meet The Beatles when I get through with them.