Working on location often means bending the light in your favor. Sometimes that can be simple–soften the light with a diffuser. Other times, take it out of the game and make a portable version of open shade. That speaks to a choice–silk or solid?
The above was shot in the worst of light. High noon in the Peruvian desert called Paracas. I simply blocked it and replaced the violence of that harsh sun with a big Profoto Octa, fitted with a B-1. That solid black overhead, a temporary roof, if you will, gives you lots of control, albeit in a small area. The background area is still bathed in the hard sun, and the cliff makes a nice, edgy pattern. The beautiful Fefa completes the look.
Fefa is also a mural painter, and when we arrived at one of her creations, it was also slammed with noonday light. (The days of lounging by the pool with an exotic, umbrella festooned cocktail, waiting for the arrival of “golden hour” are over, if they in fact ever existed. Budgets and time demands being what they are, you just work, no matter the condition of the light.)
In this case, a silk went up. Hard, unworkable light became directional and lovely. All it needed was a small pop through an umbrella to open the eyes a bit. The silk leaves you with a quantity of light to deal with, as opposed to the solid, which gives you much more control.
Big silks are tough, right? Unwieldy sails that you have to sandbag the hell out of, lest you all of sudden stage your own personal version of America’s Cup. But they are effective. I often will use them, even if the light is hazy, with broken clouds. Such was the case below, and it produced a lovely, beautifully rich, fashion-y light. Almost all natural light, with just a bit of flash assist. There’s a fun video about our Peruvian fashion adventure right here.
Below is the production snap, showing the light pattern.
Camera and lens sees the subject, just under the lower rail of the silk, which is maneuvered to be as close to Francesca as possible. Again as always, that age old adage of light–bigger and closer–are in play here.
Was fun to see results of our Peru adventures up on the wall of the Nikon CES booth this past week in Vegas! The digital tech we have now is amazing, as the prints that are the bookends of the wall display are about 8’x12′. All of the Peru fashion was shot on the highly rezzed D810. Yikes….