How I Got The Shot: Hard Light & Channeling Irving Penn

Holiday and Nutcracker madness is upon us, I don’t know about you but we here at RNP are up to our ears in audition shoots!  Be sure to join our Facebook group and look out for more Facebook lives at the studio. Last week we had a refreshing break, a creative shoot with Denys and Antonia (@dna_denysantonia, world famous ballroom champions)! We can’t wait to share the rest of the shoot… so many cool shots! But as we were setting up this shot, I thought you all might want to see how we worked with a full set of hard light and a simple (and easily accessible) background change! Andy grabbed this BTS shot for you so we could share the info. (Full disclosure, in the actual shot Andy was personally holding the bottom left light that we used for her face. The dancers moved each time they performed the pose and hand held lighting was required to get it just right!!).

For this shot we made a little mini set out of some v-flats, slightly darkening to an “Irving Penn” feel.  We decided that we wanted to go with all hard light for this look. As our main light we have an 18 inch beauty dish up high just slightly camera right of center from the models. Our hair light is an 11 inch deep reflector that is boomed up above the v-flats from behind. For this shot, we definitely wanted the black on black look, but we didn’t want our models to bleed and disappear into the background. So, to separate them from the background and give them a nice highlight down the sides of their bodies, we set up two heads with reflectors and tight grids to highlight them evenly from head to toe.

Full tech list:

Nikon D5

Nikkor 28-70mm lens f/2.8

All Paul C Buff Einstein 640 Heads

1x 18″ Beauty Dish – Main Light

1x 11″ Deep Reflector – Hair/Highlight

4x 7″ Reflector – Side highlights

2x 30° Grid for 7″ Reflector – Top two side lights

2x 20° Grid for 7″ Reflector – Bottom two side lights

All lights were set at around half power +/- a third of a stop

Tethered into Capture 1

Pocked Wizard Plus II triggers

Home made V Flats

Avenger rolling and C stands

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