Lighting Set-up #3 Catwoman location shoot.

This shoot was great fun and a bit of a lighting challenge. We shot in the stair well in the back of a nightclub and then on the roof of a multi story car park just after sun down. Click through for a run down on how I lit the shots including lighting diagrams and what kit I used...

The Challenge with this shot  was to get the balance of light right between the skyline and the foreground where the model was. Added to that, it was freezing cold and quite exposed on that roof top so we had to work quick and bag the shot early.

On the roof.

My approach was to expose for the skyline, whack a couple of strobes up on a medium setting (1/8th power) and then adjust these to taste until I had the look that I wanted. I then used the shutter speed to fine tune this balance as we where shooting, that ambient light was fading fast!

By taking the shutter speed down from 160th I could let in more ambient light whilst keeping the foreground flash exposure constant. Quick, easy and the best part is you don't have to leave the camera and start faffing with lights mid shoot.

I find this way of working very quick and intuitive as appose to juggling ratios and numbers on a light meter. As the great David Hobby points out on his lighting blog,  it doesn't take long for you to develop what often feels like a sixth sense for what power your flash needs to be in a given situation.

I do use a flash meter occasionally, but usually just to get a base exposure as a starting point...

Lighting Set-up #2 - Simple beauty lighting

This is a very simple yet effective set up that requires only 2 lights and a reflector. It works great for a nice evenly lit head shot with a soft gradient background. You can also easily add drama to the shot by simply moving the key light to the left, right or even over head.

I used an Elinchrom D lite it2 with a white shoot through umbrella as the key light. This was on a stand about 5-6 feet high and pointing down with the tip of the umbrella aimed at the models nose. It was placed in front of the model ever so slightly off axis to camera right and at a distance of about 3-4 foot.