As much fun as we have shooting on location, each new situation poses unique challenges. Here at the historic Dixie factory we had all types of eye candy to play with, but had no electricity - which means no air conditioning on a hot summer day, and no power for our lights. Fortunately, we knew what we were getting into before we started shooting, so we brought plenty of cold water and Jt brought his new lighting system - complete with power pack.
Make Up Artist Tori working with model Jen
We were so excited to play with this excellent piece of equipment. However, when we got on set there were some technical difficulties as we were shooting Canon & Nikon systems and the extra Pocket Wizard wouldn’t fire the strobe from my Nikon. We could have done a work around using an on camera flash and slave. However, since we were on a tight timeline and didn’t want to slow things down I decided to just shoot natural light - which is one of my favorite ways to shoot anyway.
I decided to use a large open room that had massive windows on its 3 perimeter walls. I liked the vastness of this location. As a bonus, its windows provided a massive soft boxes surrounding the subject. Since the focus was on the models and not the location, I chose to shoot a very shallow f2.5 - f3.5 for most of my images. I was going for balance and symmetry here so I lined up my shots using the structural columns as a guide and framed each model as centered as possible.
With a stark contrast between the subject and backlight I chose to underexpose by a stop or two so I didn’t lose all detail in the windows and compensated by bumping up the shadows in post. This set up provided a soft, even scene which I slightly manipulated in post using curves to add a little contrast to Jen’s images to show off her muscle tone, and removing a little contrast from Cheyenne’s yoga images making them even softer and more dreamlike.
Lessons: Come as prepared as possible and always test new equipment before you get on location!
- Nikon D810
- Nikkor 50mm 1.8
- Manfrotto 755CX3 2-stage Tripod