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.