Fun time of year to post a couple shadowy, sort of spooky pics. Ominous lighting. Purposeful, sinister shadows. Shadows that don’t allow you to see, but make you guess. Intrigue. Possible mayhem. Mean streets. Darkness on the edge of town. Need I go on?
Two Speedlights in a Vancouver alley from a few years back. A green gel on one, for the shadow. A Lastolite Ezybox for Hannah, who plays her role perfectly. And….done. Green gel flash up the alley lights behind the menacing figure, who is actually a friend and photog in Vancouver, and a super sweet guy. And then, naturally, ’cause we are doing a still right outta a horror movie, you have to have a somebody up front who made the mistake of going down the alley in the first place. (As I captioned this over on Instagram today, I’ve just seen too many horror movies.)
Then of course, you have the man in the hat. Couldn’t pull this guy out of a lineup, right? Can’t see enough of his face. Actually just enough to convince you he SHOULD be in a lineup. Again, the Ezybox in play. Angled down and off to the side. There’s Speedlights in the back of the frame, but, shooting wide open here, they are inconsequential in many ways. They just give you the background ambiance needed to have a bit of dimension to the pic. The real deal is up front. One softbox, and our menacing Mr. Wrong (artfully played by Ryan Aiken). Tungsten white balance. Smoke machine in the way back. Radio controlled TTL SB-5000 units.
And then there’s angle up. One Speedlight, on the ground, raw, no shaper, tungsten white balance, and the K-Man is on the prowl on the mean streets of Gotham. One flash. Done.
Not incidentally, this is heading in the direction of the lighting we will deploy at the Didcot Train Station in the UK come end of this November. Titled, “Working Into the Night,” the whole class revolves around a chiaroscuro style of lighting, with deep shadows and mood. And the cool thing is, we have steam! At this historic train station, we’ve got steam engines to play with, and character actors to create gesture and drama. Nothing like a little (or a lot) of smoke and steam to help the mood of a nighttime picture. Here’s the link.
Space in the class, which is held on the evening of Nov. 28th, is going fast. We follow up with two straight days, on the 29th and 30th, back in London with lighting classes, called “Possibilities with Portable Flash: On Location with yours truly. These classes are always jamming with great models and excellent locations right outside the door of Nikon School UK, on Margaret Street. These two are daytime adventures and have alway been a blast. Here’s the link for them.
As always, can’t wait to get to the UK and see our friends!