Further explorations with the beauty dish, and also with some bounce-flash technique.
This time, Seregon was my model.
With a previous shoot using the Profoto AcuteB 600R lighting kit (B&H) and the Profoto beauty dish (B&H), I found that the grid on the beauty dish gave me lighting which was too hard for my liking, when using the beauty dish as my single light. The image above was taken with just the beauty dish. A Q-flash provided the highlight on the grey backdrop.
I love this photo of Seregon, since it shows her personality clearly. So the success of this image hinges on the model being a delight to work with, and also the lighting. (I have to take a little bit of credit here too.) The post-processing of the image involved converting the RAW file to a warm-tinted B&W image using a preset in ACR that I like. After touching up a few blemishes, I used a Photoshop action to create a softer image and a slight vignette.
With this image, I used the beauty dish, but added a fill light from camera right at 3 stops under my main light. The light here was from a Q-flash softened by a Westcott Bruce Dorn Strip Bank (18?x42?) (B&H) … and this gave me lighting that I really liked – directional but soft. Camera settings: 1/250th @ f11 @ 200 ISO)
Just as an experiment, I thought I’d see what was the best results I could get from an on-camera speedlight bounced into the small living room. The following two images are from that sequence. Camera settings: 1/250th @ f4 @ 640 ISO. It’s obvious that I can’t match the brute power of the Profoto powerpack with that of a speedlight. But in carefully choosing the direction that I bounce my flash, I can still get similar-ish results in terms of directional lighting.
The only light source for both these images was an on-camera speedlight. No other light on the background .. yet, there is that interesting pattern on the backdrop. I got lucky here. In finding the best direction for this kind of light on my model, I bounced flash forward from the camera’s viewpoint, into the window that can be seen in this pull-back shot. The way that the flash bounced off the glass, gave that pattern. I love it. An unexpected little bonus. (And yes, that’s my sexy red van that can be seen in the driveway.)
To make sure that I get NO direct flash on my model, and that all my light is indirect, I used the Black Foamie Thing (tm). This is hugely important. I did not use any generic light modifier, but was very careful in how I directed the light from my on-camera flash.
And just for fun, a grab-shot of Seregon as she flipped her hair back at the start of the photo session.
[ all images, except the pull-back shot: Nikon D3; Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR ]
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