I’m a big fan of using whatever advantage the location presents to help me light something. And in this case, it proved to be just an old wall, about 30-40′ from my subject. Without this little kiss of light on the columns and the corner, the whole scene goes a touch dark, as does the non-window side of my subject.
Size of source becomes important when light is wafting into your scene from far, far away. So I used three sources to get big–three SB-5000 Speedlights, with the domes still on, no shapers, just bare bulbing away from my subject, a big high beach ball of light into a wall, which then warbles almost imperceptibly back into the scene. I’m stretching the definition of fill light here. It’s more like I’m drifting with the Speedlights, wishing, willing them to drop light onto the scene like the weightless, haphazard, Forest Gump feather, and thus convey to the picture that extra one or two degrees of finesse or grace I was hoping for.
I could lift the shadows a bit in PhotoShop to be sure, but I’m better at putting up a couple lights on location than I am at sliders on a screen. So, I opened the shadows, just a tick, in the field. And, as the day progressed, and the sun wrapped around the room, I also knew when to leave well enough alone. The only assist the natural light gets below is a Lastolite skylite panel.
Had a wonderful time working with a sublime dancer, Natalie Wilmshurst, of Glasgow, Scotland, on this project. Indeed, the whole crew for this series was amazing. Sam Brown of Samantha Brown Style expertly directed the look of the clothes. Makeup by the peerless Remi Odunsi. Over the next couple weeks, here on the blog, I’ll take some of our simple shots, and dissect them in simple fashion. There’s also a nice little video accompanying this series shot by Michael Cali. Here’s the link.