- Video Lesson
- Selecting Location
- Lighting the Scene
- Posing and Camera Placement
- Achieving a Final
- Shutter Speed: 1/125
- Aperture: f/4.5
- ISO 200
While Ben and I unloaded the lighting equipment (which was rather extensive), Lyible set up in the background. [figure 1]
Lighting the Scene
The small OctoDome® was the perfect light modifier for the lead singer. We wanted the light source to be directional, with enough falloff from head to toe to create emphasis on the face and gradual darkening towards the feet. We also didn't want the light to spill wildly all over the set, as it would with an umbrella or larger soft box. The shape of the OctoDome® is more like a spotlight, maintaining the drama and direction of light, while still affording some softness to the shadows for beautiful chiaroscuro! We positioned the OctoDome® so that when the lead singer jumped in the air, his head would be level with the center of the light. [figure 2]
Coming in from the right side, we used another TritonFlash™. We initially tried it further back, shining through a wire grid to cast some shadows on to the background of the set, however, there was so much going on already in the background that this didn't really add to the image. [figure 3]
So, we removed the wire grid and brought the TritonFlash™ in closer where we could focus the light on one band member instead. The attachable reflector provided just the right amount of coverage and light spread. [figure 4]
To cover the entire band over such a large area, I needed more lights. We used a combination of Photoflex® TritonFlash™ battery strobes, StarFlash® 300watt studio strobes, and Nikon speedlights to achieve our goal. The StarFlash® units are very easy to use and adjust. We plugged them in to portable A/C battery packs and simply taped our existing grid spot modifiers to the front of them for more focused beams of light. Each band member got their own moment in the spotlight, so to speak. [figures 5 and 6]
We used the Photoflex wireless FlashFire™ triggers to get all the lights to fire in sync. They are easy to use, basic units, with very little to worry about figuring out.
The bass player got ambitious and climbed up on a beam. In the final image, it looks like he is jumping off, but he is actually quite safely "strapped" in by the metal cross-rods. [figure 6]
In order to make this complex shot work, we had to dial in each light for an equal exposure on each band member. We didn't want much of the light to spill onto the background, so we used grid spot adapters and other modifiers to focus the lights just on the players and some on the amplifiers. The ambient light took care of the fill, which was one of the benefits to the location opening up to the street on two sides.
One key to making setups like this easier is to be prepared with lots of gaffers tape, clamps, step ladders, straps, and other grip equipment. We had to clamp a Speedlight up high on a beam as we didn't have a light stand tall enough. We used gaffers tape to attach various accessory modifiers to the lights, and climbed up and down to get lights in unusual places. Be prepared, just like a scout, and things will run much smoother!
To get my desired shot, I chose a low angle about three meters away from the lead singer. [figure 8]
My angle would accentuate the height and drama of the shot. To get everyone in frame, I chose my 24mm f/1.4 lens and had my camera set to the following:
For more lighting tips and tricks, check out my blog at KevinKubotaBlog.com and make sure to look for to my new book, "Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook, 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers."
Images and text by Kevin Kubota, award winning wedding and portrait photographer and contributing lesson writer for PhotoflexLightingSchool.com®.
Assisted by: Ben Edwards