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Shoot: Jessi K.

May 6, 2011

Shoot: Jessi K.

So this series is actually from a shoot a few weeks back that I did with Jessi K. Although I got through majority of the photos immediately following the shoot, I’ve not been able to make the time recently to complete the entire set…until now (finally!!).

I had an idea to create a series of photos that portrayed “Late Saturday Morning in Bed”, which included an all white relaxing attire and props in a bedroom filled with  large curtained windows. I got to work with our model Jessi for this concept who was absolutely fantastic. She was very creative and very open to exploring different angles and poses. Not to mention her background in photography helped a lot to give great feedbacks…

One of my flashes wasn’t being optically triggered and I had 30+ photos of her in the dark…

Jessi: I think you battery is dying

Me: No it’s not, I just need to readjust the sensor…..oh wait…you’re right…

Seriously, models with photography background…what better person to work with? : )

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Natural Light vs. Artificial Light?

So the idea was that I would create a bedroom scene with the bed sitting at the base of the window with curtains. The light hitting the curtains would become nicely diffused (softer light) and would wrap around the subject with a little bit of flare and create an airy mood.

The Good News: I have a large double sliding glass door to dub as the large window.

The Bad News: Unpredictable weather, and even on a good day the window faces North so still fairly dim, forcing me to use low shutter speeds and high ISO. In other words, degraded image quality.

The Solution: If I can’t control the sun I’ll just make my own!!

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The Look

So I’m artificially creating the sun… I’ll just stick a large rectangular softbox flush up against the curtains and blast away with the monolights to simulate the sunlight beaming in through a rectangular window. How hard can that be? Well…apparently drastically trickier than I initially thought…

With only the lighting directly behind the subject, the subject looked as if they were cut out with scissors and slapped onto the image. There was no “wrap around” lighting around the subject as I had hoped, and the image was very flat looking.

So apart from the light behind the subject (“Window”), I decided to put two additional lights, one on either side of the model. They were “snooted” (a simple tube that goes around the flash head) to reduce light spilling where I didn’t want it, and directed at the white wall on either side of the model.

The additional lighting from the side added the “wrap around” look I was hoping for. It gives greater contour to the face and the viewer can perceive more depth and dimension in the images.

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The Setup

As you can see above, the two lights on the sides are accompanied by the main light directly behind the model and the curtain. The softbox behind the curtain was flushed against it to minimize the light spill onto the adjacent curtains. It helped to prevent it from blowing out so you will be able to see something in the background opposed to a white nothingness.

Both the side lightings were triggered with the Cactus V4 Wireless Receivers. The transmitter was attached to the hot shoe mount on my camera. I unfortunately don’t own a third receiver, so I had to directly connect the monolight with a 3.5mm Mono Minijack to one of the receivers to daisy chain them.

Honestly, there are more different angles and lightings that we managed to pull off in over 5 hours, but I feel I could write this forever and it would just be too darn long. So I’ll leave this blog as a “brief” overlook at some of my behind the scenes!!

To check out the entire series, please check out my Facebook Page !!

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