Ran a couple fashion pix I shot in Romania in the last year or so, over on our Instagram account, and there were a few lighting questions. So, here we go. Below is Alina, Miss Romania, 2017, in a beautifully worn-out mansion in the city of Bucharest. She’s absolutely lovely, but she is in a big room where all the light is behind her. I turned on the warm chandeliers, let the windows blow out a bit, and set the stage for her to be framed (squarely in the Nikon Z 7) and went to work on a beauty light for her. Main light is a Profoto B1X, fitted with a large Profoto deep white umbrella with a diffuser over it. An umbrella box, in other words. It glows, wraps, embraces–choose your phrase–the sensuous features of Alina in appropriately delicate, open fashion. It is positioned camera left, just out of frame, as close as I can work it to the edge of my picture. Below is a fill board we rented in Romania. And that’s it. Done. She does the rest.
You might note in the bottom corners you can see the fill source a bit. I could have lowered it, I could have retouched it, but, you know, over time, I’ve had lots of bits and pieces of my gear in photos, and well, they end up becoming part of the photo, and I don’t sweat it overmuch. I’m after a feel, a look, a match point between subject, light and gesture. If I feel like it’s rocking in the right direction, as the English occasionally say, I “bash on regardless,” and leave the bits and pieces bobbing in the wake of a drive towards a picture. I grew up feathering a tenth of an f-stop for corporate clients, and still do, to a degree, but at some point, if it’s mostly there, I’ll just get my eye in the camera and go.
We turned this amazing house into a playground for the Z 7 and the S series lenses designed for mirrorless. I emphasized some of the new kids on the block, namely the 14-30mm and the 24-70 f/2.8. The mirrorless adventure with new Nikkor glass coming all the time, is turning into a really fun ride. (Check out fellow Nikon Ambassador Jerry Ghionis and myself as we make an entire portrait assignment, of each other, with just the new 85mm f1.8. Another dimension for the Z system.) Every few months, there’s a new iteration of glass and the potential to take this system further and further increases exponentially. Below is a B&W rendition of the scene with Alina.
Old house, big windows. Don’t forget to take advantage of the studio like aspects of huge window, sunlight and sheer drapery. The below was dead bang simple. Cali is in the corner on camera left with a Lastolite Tri Grip silver sided reflector.
There’s a fun wrap up over on the Nikon Learn & Explore page and a quick BTS video of when we ventured out in the woods for a completely different environment. We did the location two step–outdoor, indoor. Light is light, whether you find it in the woods or make it happen in an old mansion.
We were super lucky with our talent and crew. Fast Ideas Production house is a wonder to work with, and routinely offers miracles of access, permissions and possibilities. Of course, Lynn DelMastro as our exec producer spins all the wheels in the right direction from home base, and excellent Romanian photog Bogdan Para, was amazing, working the set with Cali. Pratik over at Solstice Retouching did his usual terrific fashion treatment in post. Great teamwork, great locations, great talent, all wrapped up with a little bit of soft light.