Rockstar Shoot – Behind the scenes video

24 04 2011

This is my final post regarding the Rockstar shoot that I did a couple of weeks ago.  Boy it was a hoot, it is one of those shoots that keeps on giving… every time I go back to my RAW files, I find more images I want to process up (like the one at the top of this post)..

I have edited up a behind-the-scenes video that was taken by our trusty assistant Andrew Tiddy on the day (thanks Andrew, great job).

You can either watch it in-line here or if you want to really appreciate it, click on the vimeo logo in the bottom right and watch it in High Definition on the Vimeo site.

Music: Mediate by INXS

Spaces Available for May Off Camera Flash Workshop

21 04 2011

Photo by Gavin Marchio

Hey there,  just a quick note to say that I still have spaces available for the next Off Camera Flash workshop that I am running on May 15th in Sydney.  One of our models for the day is going to be Daniel (the star in my recent Rockstar shoot).  He’s great to work with.

So if you have been thinking about making the leap with your photography into the world of Off Camera Flash, this workshop will teach you everything you need to know take control of your lighting on location.

More information can be found here.  Spaces are limited.. First come first served.


Rockstar Shoot Part 2 of 3 – Light Beam Tutorial

16 04 2011

For some shots adding beams of light can really create bring impact into your images.  The two images that you see here are examples where I felt that emphasising the light beams in Photoshop would be beneficial to the image.

In both images, when I was in the studio taking the shots, my eye could see the light beams better than the camera recorded them, so I felt it wasn’t really “cheating” to bring back what I experienced in the studio.

This tutorial utilises another of Calvin Hollywood’s techniques for “ray of light”.  I highly recommend his DVD tutorial called “Calvinize”.

The following tutorial shows how I post process this image of Daniel.  The emphasis is on how I process the background light with rays of light technique from Calvin.

This is a pretty advanced technique.  I hope you enjoy it.

My Rockstar Shoot Part 1 of 3 – Howd it turn out?

16 04 2011

All I can say is “What a hoot”…. we had a such a great time playing around with this shoot.  I was shooting with two other photographers, Michelle Playoust and Sue Robertson.  We also had Andrew Tiddy assisting.  Our Rockstar was Daniel Raphael.

We spent four hours in the studio playing around with lighting, lighting effex and a smoke machine and had an absolute blast.  I reckon I’m doing well on a shoot if I come away with 1 or 2 keepers, but on this shoot I got closer to 8 or 10 shots that I was really really happy with.  Here’s just a few of them along with lighting charts for each so you can see how we got the effex.

Our first setup

A simple 3 light setup.  In the back we had a continuous hard edge spot light that we had gelled with 2 cuts of CT Blue (it is a tungsten light source).

We had a 20″ white beauty dish as our key light (camera left) (thanks for the beauty dish Scott… I love it… you might not see it again).

We used a gridded backlight off to the right. to really throw some strong rimmed backlight onto Daniels hair and shoulders.

We were using a smoke machine to create atmosphere. We tried where we could to keep the smoke from the smoke machine behind Daniel and not between him and the lens.

With this setup we got the following shots.

Setup 2 Red Back Light

We then added a bit of colour to the setup by gelling the rear spot light with a red gel.

We kept the same key light (the beauty dish) but decided to kill the gridded back-light as it was washing out too much of the red colour.

The back-light was not a strobe, it was a tungsten balanced continuous 650w light, so for all intensive purposes this was like continuous ambient light.

The power of the continuous lights was not something we could alter so we had to balance all of our strobes to these continuous lights.

When we gelled the backlight red we probably lost 2 stops of light and were typically shooting around f2.8 or f4, @ 1/60s @ISO 400 So focus and depth of field were tricky.  The cameras also had a few problems focusing in the low light, so most of the time we were manually focusing.

We got some excellent atmospheric images with the red light.

This setup also worked well for black and white.

Setup 3 – Silouette Shot

For the next setup I really wanted to play with some almost total silouette lighting where the focus is on the shape of the rockstar against the light.

However we didn’t want to go total silouette, so we used a 10degree grid to throw a hard light on the rockstars face (about 2 stops underexposed).

I think here we got some of the most dramatic shots.  The shot at the top of this blog post was taken with this setup.

The 10degree grid really threw out an interesting light.  It is the first time that I have used grid spots as key lights and I was really enjoying the effects they were giving me.

One of the goals of the day was to do some real creative experimentation… and we sure did that.

Final Setup – Coloured Par Cans

We added red and blue gels on 4 par cans and flooded our rock star from behind.  We used the beauty dish as our key light (similar position to setup 1 and 2).  And we got these shots with this setup.

I’ve almost finished editing a short “behind the scenes” video for anybody interested in seeing the setup and the shoot.   I’ll also do a tutorial on how I got the light beam effect in the top shot.

It was definitely a ton of fun.

Reminder Off Camera Flash Workshop:

I’m running an off camera flash workshop on 15th May 2011 in Sydney for anyone that wants to learn how to bring flash and models into your landscapes.  More information can be found here.