Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Lightside Session

High Key (1)This post covers off my foray into high key lighting and is a sequel to my Darkside Session post. I have dabbled in high-key before, but never approached it as a stock-in-trade shot. I wanted to get Max, Mary Ellen, and Jon to get back in the studio for this, but they were all tied up with pre-Christmas holiday business. Fortunately, I was able to hook up with September Sui from Model Mayhem.

We started off with some simple poses with her in a bright red dress. I was looking for something that would really grab a viewer's attention, but I think the red is too much. I'm more partial to the second round where she switched into darker (albeit colder) blue tones.

High Key (3)

The set up was pretty straight forward. I used a roll of white seamless background
and put down some white tile board on the floor.

For the lighting, I used
a couple of Vivitar 285HV's on the background. For a cheap $80 flash, these babies can really pump out the light! I stood a couple of sheets of cheap corrugated plastic to prevent light from the Viv's from hitting Sui. I put my Nikon flashes, an SB26 and an SB800, into umbrellas for the front lighting.

After a few shots I turned off one flash when I noticed I was a bit over exposed on Sui's face. Later, when I was got the shots up on the computer, I realized I had lighting coming through the corrugated plastic. I went cheapo here and bought it instead of foam core. I'll have to fix that the next time. I also noticed that there is a ton of light bouncing around from all the flashes.

High Key Setp-up (1)

High Key Set-up (2)

The set-up shots are taken at 1/750, so there is little-to-no ambient at all! I now realize that a set up shot not only records the set-up, but can show you where the light is spilling!! You may want to click on these shots, as the Flickr versions have many, many comments in them with my notes.

I really, really like how high key plays in Photoshop. I had no where near the fiddling that I did with the Darkside Session shots and all that white space is useful for commercial work as it should allow an art director to lay out lots of text or other fun stuff.

Many thanks to September Sui who was awesome to work with and for anyone looking
for an excellent tutorial on high-key shooting, go see Zack Arias' kick-ass lesson.

A slide show with more shots from this session is below in small format and a larger one is here.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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