Band Shoot For “Morrownow”

It’s 2:00am and I’m just back from this shoot, which turned out really well and was loads of fun. While I’m backing up files, here’s a quick look at the behind-the-scenes. Once the final selects are made I’ll post those too, but for now, here’s the setup. 

This is taken at the end of the shoot (I threw the Pocket Wizard on the Olympus E-P1 for these shots). Earlier in the evening, that light that’s front-and-center in this photo was on the floor and heavily gelled blue, and there was a table in front of the boys. There’s the big umbrella light (un-gelled) with a few sheets of foam core blocking light, a light on the floor behind the couch gelled red, and a fourth light outside shining through the window, also gelled red, and also on a Pocket Wizard.

Band “Morrownow” and me, sitting too close to the light. Notice the red light in the window? Light #4, outside.Band “Morrownow”. You can see all the gobos blocking light from the red-lit wall and such.

Amazing Seamless Shooting Tutorials

I’m the proud new owner of set of four Profoto lights, and spent the day today getting used to them. A very basic (but not as easy as you might think) challenge is lighting a white seamless perfectly, so that’s what I’ve spent some time today doing—making a white seamless evenly lit and perfectly white. Monitoring levels on the camera and getting it to 255 (the top of the levels scale) in-camera was the first step; taking that into Aperture and looking at it larger was second. To see how even it really is, all you have to do is crank the gamma way up, and your white seamless will show hot-spots pretty quickly. Here’s an early sample:

Looks pretty good, right?The truth comes out! Not so even after all. Note what I’ve done with Levels to reveal the truth.So that tells me I have some work to do on positioning the lights. Of course unless I build a wall of light or shoot straight into a heavily diffused softbox, it’s unlikely I’d ever get it perfect when pushing levels to that extreme, but it’s a great way to get used to the tools and understand what’s really happening. Getting the background edge-to-edge clean within half a stop from center to edge seems a fair goal.

But I digress… that’s not the real reason I started this post. The real reason I am writing is to share an absolutely amazing set of blog-posts I stumbled on today (written last year). Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias has written a fantastic series of posts on working with a white seamless. Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Lowes Hardware to buy some white tileboard—you’ll have to read his blog to see why. These tutorials are educational, interesting, and damn funny. It’s a five part series, starting here: White Seamless Tutorial :: Part 1 :: Gear & Space