Control the Lighting Even When You Don’t Control the Lights

You cannot always change the direction of the light, but you can change the position of the model and the photographer. We simply turned the actress and her minimalist set to get the side and background lighting where we wanted it. ISO 2200, 1/160, f/2.8

Learning to use multiple, off-camera speedlights over the past couple of years has made me a better available light photographer. Now I’m always thinking about the direction and quality of light, as well as planes that need to be lit. Last week I made some new publicity images for the Senga Classic Stage Company‘s production of Tales From the Women’s Locker Room 2. Rather than set up my lighting kit and go through the pose/light/test/light/shoot process, we decided to use the theater lights, which producer/director Francisca Beach controlled. Posing subjects with a constant light source was a refreshing change of pace, as I could see the effects of changes in real time.

Although I certainly wish I'd hit the background with an accent light, I don't think I could have lit the foreground any better with all the gear in my absurdly heavy lighting bag. ISO 800, 1/160, f/2.8

Again, we missed a background plane, but I like the lighting on the two subjects, and especially the fall-off of the circular spotlight. ISO 900, 1/160, f/2.8

Francisca DID have some lights in place that could hit the curtains in the background. The color may or may not have worked in the previous shots, but it's a home run in this one! ISO 900, 1/160, f/2.8


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Filed under Dance and Theater, Lighting

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