The last article left off with me licking my wounds. Hernan Rodriguez, Westcott Top Pro and Exposure fan, shared helpful advice to improve on the first set of Matt’s shots. I bribed the team to do me another favor and reconvene. We were so close! All that was needed were a few minor tweaks.
The lighting situation called for modifiers. Bradley Matthews, Tether Tools’ Director of Business Development–formerly with Westcott–came to the rescue. This was a Sunday, mind you, so he wasn’t terribly thrilled with the idea. It was the only time we had, so we made do. We chatted about the overall concept for the shoot, discussed Hernan’s feedback, and came up with a plan. Next thing you know, Brad had everything set up and was ready to go.
Where was Jenn? She was the backbone of the whole thing. Yes, she could have done the lighting herself, she has a studio, after all. If she did, I wouldn’t have been embarrassed to tears and asked for others’ help. It may sound insensitive, but harsh experiences can help you remember details, so I couldn’t thank her enough for watching me squirm. I was, however, spitting nails for a day or so. She’s always happy to tell me how much of an idiot I am, too. *sigh* That’s what friends are for, right?
The first SB700 speedlight with a Westcott 12” x 36” stripbank was positioned high (6’) and angled down from behind the model, next to the backdrop. This lit the left side just enough to build depth. It was set to about 1/4 power. I can’t give you the exact settings used because we adjusted based on the changing ambient light–it was a cloudy day.
A second SB700 with a 12” x 36” stripbank came from the front left corner of the backdrop. It was similarly positioned high (6’) and angled down, approximately 8’ from the model. This was the main light. It was set 2 stops lower than the first light. We grip taped the bottom corners of the softbox to keep from overlighting the knees.
From the right, an Einstein E640 with a 36” x 48” softbox came straight across centered at about 4’. This filled him in on the right of the face and his shoulder. There wasn’t much light needed, so it was set as a modeling light at 1/64th power.
We shot with a similar gear roster to the first shoot, with one caveat: a longer lens. We depended on Jenn’s trusty Nikon 70-200 vr1 2.8. This was used to compress the shot and to give us more depth of field to work with. The goal was to keep his feet in focus as well as his head per Hernan’s recommendation. Jenn shoots weddings and events a lot, so this is her most used glass. I promised to be careful.
The shoot went pretty quickly. We learned which poses, hand placement, and expressions we liked from the first shoot. This time, it was like we had a well thought out plan. I stumbled over this important discovery during the project, but it’s a good one, so I’ll remember it for next time. Before shooting, make a detailed plan.
Thanks for all your help, Brad, Matt, & Jenn. I owe you a couple of cold ones. Maybe we should schedule it for another weekend…