Every once and a while the world just looks down on you and smiles. And I’m not talking about the beautiful model in the background either. I know I’ve been a little lean on posts lately, but I’ve just been flat out. So in the midst of all the chaos, I took time out to do two shoots in one day. One location shoot for a school with all my own equipment set up on site and another at the studio I use with all their lighting equipment. It was a blast and to be a bit smitten, I’m very pleased with the results.
In the image above with Jlynne (MM2235484) we lucked out that the balloons were left behind in the studio by a previous photographer. We went into the studio knowing that part of our plan was to use the white cyclorama and a gumball machine full of colorful gumballs. So it was super easy to just play around with the balloons and incorporate them into the shoot. I also went in knowing this would all be large depth of field shot since there is no background to blur.
The white cyclorama is so much fun to use because its so easy in terms of lighting. Spray light at the background, light your model with a key, add fill, and optionally a hair-light (not used in this shot due to the balloons being in the way). You can see the lights in the balloons, but they are round and there really wasn’t a good way to get them out of the photo. I tried Photoshop and on the solid color balloons it was a snap to remove reflections. On the translucent ones (blue/red), every attempt I made to take them out left a fake looking smudge.
For this shot I had my backdrop about 7 feet behind and was only using a key and fill light. I was shooting at f13 to allow for focus with groups of people. The key was a AB-800 with a 42″ soft umbrella to the left and I mixed that in with a shoot through umbrella and a Vivitar 285HV on 1/2 power. The shoot through is very non directional, but light efficient on a battery powered flash head. I had spare lights back left and right, but did not use them as I did not have enough directional control to keep them from lighting my backdrop more than it already was. I was also planning on a using hair lights (not with this shot), but sometimes things just change.
You’ll also probably recognize the backdrop in the picture above. I look at this photo and I’m pleased with it, but not ecstatic. To me it looks neat, however it would have been awesome if I did it on black. I suppose I could cut it out and replace it with black, but I’m not doing that – thank you very much. Sometimes it is what it is and the blue backdrop was a requirement of the shoot (think school).