Most of us have seen this expression. The old, “I don’t know when we’ll get this part in, and it’s gonna cost you a whole bunch of dough,” look.
There were a few questions about this frame over on our Instagram account. When we walked in, the place looked like this.
My memory was faulty, and I think I answered a question on Instagram about the lighting here, saying it was all small flash. My bad. We had the kitchen sink of lights in there. Profoto lights were the main engines, and then Speedlights for the accents, and the headlights for practicals.
Below, intrepid photog Jon Cospito, back in his handlebar mustache days, affixes an SB-910 Speedlight under the hood.
What you’re looking for here with the small sources are splashes of light, controlled, and specific, generating interest and color. You have to light through the room right to the back wall, so as to define the nature and scope of the place, and let the viewers’ eyes roam about and have an enjoyable stroll through your photo. Let something of interest go black, you are cheating the viewer of information and picture punch. They have to be placed carefully, as, at that time, they were operating in line of sight mode with pre-SB-5000 flashes.
An opposite approach below.
This is one big light source, with the late afternoon sun blasting through a smoky background. Speedlights through a Lastolite 6×6 diffuser panel. Didn’t have to play tic tac toe with lots of hidden lights in this scene.
Shot with a Nikon D810. Fun to ramble about the shop for a day. Hard part is when you use a lot of lights like this, you got to remember to do a thorough check so one of your Speedlights doesn’t stay stashed in somebody’s carburetor.