reverse engineering an image (3) – a contest!

wedding portraits with multiple light sources

edited on Dec 08, 2010 :
contest winner has been announced, with feedback from Josh about this photograph

When we’ve previously featured photographs that we tried to reverse engineer, there was a great response by readers of the Tangents blog. Similarly, many participated in the recent Photoshop contest. So I’ve decided that we should combine the two. Maybe even make it a regular event.

The contest then is to reverse engineer this photograph in terms of the lighting.
The winner gets a $50 B&H gift card!

Again, the photograph to be analyzed was shot by my friend Josh Lynn. It was taken during the romantic portrait session during a recent wedding.  The setup featured 5 light sources, and Josh was kind enough to give us a head-start with this diagram of how the lights were placed:

Josh also mentioned that it took him less than 5 minutes to set this up.

Here’s the challenge:
Give a thorough explanation of what Josh did there with the lighting to get the image at the top. (Clicking on the photo itself will bring up a higher resolution image.)

Include what you think the light sources were;
how they were triggered (if they needed to be triggered);
how they were set up in terms of diffusers and modifiers;
how they were balanced in relation to each other in terms of power;
color balance of the light sources;
camera settings;
and anything else you think is relevant.

The  rules:
1. When entries close in a week’s time, the first person who posted the correct (or closest to correct) reverse engineering solution to this photograph, wins.
2. This puts some pressure on everyone to post as soon as they have figured it out … but still have the most correct entry, since those who post after you can use your entry as clues.
3. I get to decide who is the closest in figuring out what Josh did with that image.
Indeed, I have the final and only say in this.
4. No whining will be allowed. This is important.
5. The contest will be up for a week, and around lunchtime on Wed, 8th Dec, I will announce the winner.
6. If for some reason you’re unable to make use of the B&H gift card, let me know so that I can pass it on to the runner-up. Your entry will still be announced as the winning entry though.

So let’s have it!

50 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 1 says

    Not 5 minutes to setup.. 5 minutes from start of setup to final shutter release.

    I always push this mentality.. Things need to be fast, flow (yes Doug,, I said flow) from one scene to the next.. like playing Chess you need to think ahead.

  2. 2Al guzman says

    If you say it took only five minutes to set up then it had to be a very simple and obvious way so here is my take.

    #1 is light from the sun set (ambient)
    # 2 is a street light
    # 3 is a speed light on a light stand shooting into an umbrella set to half power (manual)
    #4 are the car head lights lighting maybe with a white reflector reflecting back to the couple.
    # 5 is another speed light positioned so that the grooms head blocks it. The power settings could be 1/3rd power and both speed lights will be triggered by pocket wizards.
    The photographer is dragging the shutter to get as much light from the sunset might be at Shutter speed 1/40th or 1/50th of a second. Shot in RAW so the color balance can be done in Post. Aperture set at f5.6 or 4. Focus point bride and groom. Could be 35-40 mm length.

    Thats my quick take on it.

  3. 4 says

    OK I am not playing really, but headlights are two light sources. Otherwise Sun, speedlight behind the couple, a reflector reflecting the headlight back to camera right and maybe a video light to camera left, an on camera gelled and zoomed flash or he worked with a higher than sync speed shutter speed to get the falloff on the dress. There are many ways to make that light don’t you think? Actually there is reflection in the car that looks like it might be a softbox reflection to camera right.

    Anyway, good luck.

  4. 5Trevor Tollefsbol says

    Camera set to daylight WB, 85mm at f/5.6

    Light Source 1 = Sun
    Light Source 2 = Street Lamp
    Light Source 3 = Snooted Strobe with 1/2 Cut CTO, Radio Triggered
    Light Source 4 = Car Lights
    Light Source 5 = Bare Strobe for rim light, Radio Triggered

    Strobe Ratio = 1:4 (Snooted Stobe to Bare Strobe)

    Beautiful Shot!

  5. 6 says

    I’ll go with this:

    #1 is sun, the ambient.
    #2 is speedlight in softbox, gelled with full CTO to match the sunset, 1/3 power, lighting the bride (lots of falloff, so softbox instead of umbrella)
    #3 is a reflector, lighting the grill and left half of the front of the car
    #4 car lights
    #5 kicker light, aimed at couple and veil, 1/8 power.

    Lights triggered with Pocket Wizards. Have to be PWs, because I can’t see how the kicker light could be optically triggered. I’d say f/4 at 1/40th to get some ambient exposure in. Maybe ISO 800. 50mm.

  6. 7Craig says

    2 Strobes total — see breakdown below.

    #1 is ambient and he dragged the shutter to get the ambient to read.

    #2 is a speedlight zoomed to hit B&G and not spill on the car hood. Approx. 3/4 power probably handheld by an assistant.

    #3 is a reflector bouncing the left headlight back to light the front left side of the car. Reflection of reflector can be seen in car lower left portion.

    #4 are the car headlights.

    #5 is a speedlight in close on a stand creating the backlight/rim light on B&G. Stand and speed light are blocked by the couple. Power about 1/4 and zoomed to control the spread and avoid creating lens flare or spray on to the car hood.

    Color balance looks like cloudy setting to get a warmth to the image.
    Radio triggers for speed lights.

  7. 8Cédric says

    I would say :
    1: Sunset
    2: A studio light with half CTO gel
    3: A reflector using the car light as primary source
    4: The car lights
    5: a flash put on the floor aiming at the couple’s faces, as backlighting,with no modifier (to keep a white light on the wedding dress)

    The WB would be set to sunlight to accentuate the sunset tone.

    let see and thanks for this game :-)!

  8. 9DGV says

    Light sources

    Light #1) Setting sun

    Light #5) bare flash zoomed to light the veil and provide rim. no modifier (1/8th power)

    Light #4) Gridded flash with full cut CTO gel (1/16th power)

    Light #2) Gridded flash with full cut CTO or video light to light the gown.

    Light #3) light with modifier(umbrella) to provide fill light to the overall scene. 1/4CTO gel

    Camera Settings: F/8 at maybe 1/60th. ISO 1250

  9. 10G Peel says

    Light 1-ambient sunset
    Light 2-bare flash on stand or val
    light 3-auto headlights
    light 4-pictured auto headlights
    light 5-bare flash, justin clamped to limo.

  10. 11 says

    1) ambient light of the sun.
    2) LED light (lowel id light).. or speedlite w/ CTO gel (he has no idea if those gel are 1/2 or full… came w/ his flash). i’ll say 1/16 power manual.
    3 Street light
    4) car headlights
    5) speedlite. manual (1/2 power) no diffuser. 2ft away. pointed at the couple. someone is standing behind the car w/ the monopod.

    he’s using Radio Popper. 1/500 @ f4, ISO 1600, using his nikon 24-70 lense. he’s shooting both RAW and JPEG. for sure, he’s a nikon shooter.

  11. 12chris says

    1) Sun/Ambient
    2) Speedlight zoomed out, 2 stops below light #3, gelled same as light #3
    3) Softbox, full tungsten gel, balanced with the sky at the same level where the sky is in background to bride and groom (could be reflector but light level seems too high)
    4) Car lights as they are seen in the image
    5) Speedlight, 1/64th power or lower, no gel, hand held by groom

  12. 13Shawn D says

    2-snooted flash with 1/2cto gel to match ambient color. flash power to match ambient
    3-shinny reflector bouncing light back from headlights into grill and car and bumpers
    5-bare strobe 1.5 stops higher than ambient for rim on light stand or roof of car with half snoot to provide no spillage on car and only light couple and head dress.

  13. 14Gustavo Elias says

    #1 Ambient light / Sun he dragged the shutter
    #2 Speedlight with softbox 1/64 power put it on the floor
    #3 Reflector bouncing the left side of the car
    #4 Car headlights.
    #5 Led Light by assistance on the floor

    Camera settings f/8 at probably 1/40 ISO 1600 shooting in RAW B/W cloudy
    Radio triggers for speed lights.

  14. 15 says

    Hi Neil,

    I see only two strobes, no gels.

    The warmth coming from the car headlamps. WB to keep as much of the bride white. Reflected headlamps keep the RR ‘off white’ – mixing temps, but works well.

    #1 – back light from the sun
    #2 – umbrella to fill in the bottom, at least 2 stops down
    #3 – reflector or bouncing back to couple – just catching a little
    #4 – head lamps – the source of color temperature orange
    #5 – bare stobe, short stand, up to couple

  15. 16carlo vivenzio says

    1) Sunset

    2 and 3 are the front key / fill lights.

    2) bare sb-800 w/ full cto gel zoomed in on the couple (or snoot/grid to limit spread). I say it’s bare because of the sharp shadow behind the grooms ear. To get the sunset exposed without blowing out he’d have to be using a strobe not a continuous light source. Since Josh uses radio poppers i’d say he is in high speed sync to get the sky exposed correctly.

    3) I think this is another sb-800 but this time in an ezybox softbox also with a full cto. You can see the somewhat soft double shadow on the car bumper (two chrome pieces sicking up in the middle) both pointing to the left. Also the reflection of the light source under the left head light shows a large squarish light source which makes me think softbox not umbrella. You can also see the effect of this light on the brides dress by where her arm is bent and in the shadow to the left of the left car head light.

    4) car lights

    5) bare sb-900 from below and behind of the couple about 10 feet away on full power.

    Strobes triggered with RadioPoppers because there is no line of site to light # 5 to use CLS

  16. 17 says

    Let’s give it a try:

    1.Light 1. Ambient light. Sunset.
    2.Light 5. Flash with a snoot or barn doors aimed up to their faces. About 1/32 power
    3.Light 4. The lights of the limo of course.
    4.Light 3. Another car aimed at the front of the limo.
    5.Light 2. A flashgun in a small softbox (20×20 or so). 1/2 power or so.

    Camera settings are: ISO 1600 50th of a second at f2.8-4

  17. 18 says

    Sorry, forgot to add that thee two flashes were probably triggered with radio because there is no direct line of site to light 5.

  18. 19Alfredo Medina says

    Light sources:
    1) Sun
    2) Speedlight
    3) Reflector
    4) Car lights
    5) Speedlight

    How they were triggered:
    Speedlights are radio triggered

    How they were set up in terms of diffusers and modifiers:
    Light #2 have softbox and 1/2 CTS
    Light #5 is bare flash

    How they were balanced in relation to each other in terms of power:
    Light #2, 1/2 power
    Light #5, 1/16 power

    Color balance of the light sources:
    Color balance is sunlight

    Camera settings:
    Camera in manual mode, 1/125 f/8 ISO 400

  19. 20David Amberson says

    Light sources

    #1) Setting sun(Ambient)

    #5) bare flash zoomed to provide rim light, either on stand or Groom Holding it with his right hand(1/16th power).

    #4) Car Headlamps, Passenger Fender under Groom lit slightly from Lightsource #3

    #2) Street lamp camera left. Providing slight fill

    #3) Speedlight in Softbox with grid(possibly same box Neil uses..Lasolite?) lighting couple from waste up. Maybe CTO gel 1/2. Power around 1/8th

    Camera Settings: Tough one. My take:
    White Balance Hmmm, 5200K. Looking at bare bulb color behind couple being kinda blue compared to main light. Shows one light was gelled.

    Background has some blur. It looks as though shot at 35-50mm. At this FL, that far from subject, f8 would give pretty sharp background.
    SO, I’m thinking f5.6 maybe.

    ISO….Hmmm. Not knowing what camera was used and/or post, makes it tough. I see noise. Im gonna say 1000.
    Which leaves shutter speed. I’ll say 1/125th due to aperture and ISO.
    I say this cause I see no shake in ambient regions. Though IS could have helped with this.
    And we know he worked hand held….because he stated he must move fast, and that usually doesnt happen with a tripod.
    I dont shoot weddings with tripods. Unless its the family portrait groups.

    Well, whatever happeens, its been fun. I like these games. I do it at work with their images all the time. Group full of photographers and this is bound to happen.

  20. 22 says

    1. Sunlight. Diffused and colored by earths atmosphere.
    2. Is a torch. Probably a halogen lamp due to the colour temperature. Held by an assistant or member of the bridal party.
    3. Street lamp. Un modified.
    4. Headlamps. Unmodified
    5. Speedlite. Looks like someone has a set of new nikon pocketwizards. TTL controlled from camera position with a TT1. No colour temp adjust and +2/3 of a stop.

    Camera settings are: 125th @ f8 and 800 ISO.


  21. 23 says

    1. Sun
    2. Hand Held Video light
    3. Large reflector bouncing the cars headlights
    4. Car headlights
    5. Car spotlight. (the type that’s mounted on the side of the car)

    Color Balance in my thinking is like 3200

    Shutter speed was like 1/2 sec @ f5.6

  22. 24nick a says

    1. Sunset / Sun

    2. Small Tungsten based light source. I’m going to say its a remote triggered strobe, bare, orange gel. It’s pointed at their heads for fill but is set at very low power. You can see it’s reflection in the guy’s ear.

    3. Large Reflector providing fill. We’ve got everything from the sunset to the headlights bouncing off this thing. It’s bouncing back a nice orange light that covers the front of the car + lower bodies of the couple.

    4. Car’s tungsten Headlights turned on.

    5. Remote Triggered Speedlight (either radio triggered or optically (infared) triggered). No gel on this one.

    Camera settings:
    WB set to daylight (so that the sunset goes warm and so the headlights of the car stay orange. All other, ambient is a bit blue because of the twilight overhead and behind).

    Camera: he has underexposed the ambient until the trees go into silhouette. He might not be at max-sync speed so that he can absorb the colors of the sunset a bit more – but (as you’ve always said Neil) the actual camera #s don’t matter!

  23. 25nick a says

    I just wanted to add
    – that even though #2 is aimed at their heads, there’s some fall off from the light on their bodies as well
    – the speedlight in #5 is powered up to somewhere between 1 and 2 stops above his camera’s exposure.

  24. 26Anggi says

    1. Ambient, sun (warm 3800-4400K, sunset)
    2. Snooted/Gridded Flash w/ CTO, pointed to bride’s dress (1-2 stop lower than #1)
    3. Softbox/Gridded flash w/ CTO, pointed to car (both #2 and #3 have about same flash power)
    4. Car headlight (warm color)
    5. Bare flash (5400-5500K), beside bride (hidden from camera), to provide rim light (2-3 stop above #2 and #3).

    – There’s an additional light from behind the car (see lower right of image, below the car it has strong shadow), possibly car rear light.

    Camera setting:
    – DOF can cover the car, should be smallish aperture (f5.6-8)
    – Non compressed background, at wider angle (24mm-28mm)
    – Low ambient light, but shutter speed is matching background exposure from sunset (1/30-1/60s, ISO800-1600)
    – Camera metering set to expose properly on sunset (keep highlight, at upper right of image)
    – Wireless trigger (PW or similar)

  25. 27Mike says

    OK, my take on this

    1.) The sun
    2.) Softened light source providing fill to bride. Low power and gelled CTO to match warm ambient – possibly in umbrella or softbox.
    3.) Main fill light on couple (can tell by direction of the predominant shadows on her dress). Reflection on front car left looks rectangular, so Softbox gelled CTO to balance with sunset?
    4.) Looks like glow originates from interior of grill. radio triggered flash on very low power?
    5.) Kicker is radio triggered flash providing rim lighting on faces and backlight to veil. Assume gridded or snooted to restrict direction.

    Initial exposure in shutter priority metered to set aperture to expose for the sunset, light 3 powered to balance ambient – 1/2 stop, light 2 about two stops below light 3 to provide just enough fill to pull out some shadow detail, kicker light 5 metered at least +2 over light 3.

  26. 28Elijah says

    The setting sun; the headlights; a gold? reflector to reflect the headlights; speedlite for the rim; and another speedlite positioned camera left with a snoot and maybe 1/2 cto gel to add some detail to the back of the bride? Flash was triggered with on camera flash in master mode (flash off), underexposed the ambient by about a stop or two to bring out color in the sky and cloud, and let ttl flash take care of the rest. White balance on auto; shot f4 @ 1/200th sec

  27. 29Sterling says

    1) Setting Sun for background and silhouetting
    2) video light, hand held by assistant, tungsten bulb
    3) Silver reflector bouncing back car headlamps
    4) Car headlamps, tungsten-ish colour
    5) Bare flash on a stand for rim, 1/16 power, radio trigger

    Camera settings: flash balance, 1/80, ISO 800, f4.5, 35mm from 10-12 feet back, full frame body.

  28. 30parv says

    Light Sources

    – 1 would be the ambient light via Sun;

    – 5 would be a bare flash fired at about 2 times more power than source 3 via radio;

    – 4 would be the car lights;

    – 3 would be a strobe in a small softbox with 3/4 to 1/2 CTO gel. The coverage is in a large, restricted area indicated by the progression of shadows in the same direction from right vertical bump on the bumper to the white dress creases.

    It could have been fired either via radio or a cable.

    It was pointed slightly upward and a bit camera left. Notice the direction of the left headlight shadow which is behind the headlight.

    (Then again I seem to be leaning toward a silver reflector too. Consider me unsure on source 3.)

    – 2 would be a flash (fired at near minimum power; lower than source 3) pointed on the lower portion to barely lit the dress.

    There is too much blotchiness in faces for a light to be pointed there (well, there could be insufficient light too). I suggest that faces on the camera side were lit by the reflection of source 5 from chests.

    Camera, processing, etc.

    In short: noise in underexposed portions; crushed black; faces possibly brightened; daylight or flash WB; ISO 400-640, f/4, 1/30-1/40 s at about 35 mm; shot looking slightly upward.

    – blacks had been heavily crushed, leaving only some detail at the very bottom. See also comment about source 2;

    – ambient exposure was possibly too much than needed which was brought down during developing; might have been shot just before the sunset;

    – ISO was possibly about 400-640;

    – focus seems to be on the crease of the left wheel “fairing”; focus area seems to be from the left vertical bumper bump to just about the lace on the torso. Faces certainly don’t seem to be in focus.

    I would guess focal length between 24 mm to 40 mm and aperture to be about f/4.

    Car seems to be a 1960s Rolls Royce Vanden Plas Princess model (could not find another one without the bumper mounted lights).

  29. 31Ralph says

    1. Ambient – sunset.
    2. Fill, LED video light (white) low power focused towards small of her back, probably shut down with barn doors.
    3. Key, video light LED gelled orange full power at slightly below waist height.
    4. Car lights.
    5. Bare strobe, waist height, zoomed wide, tilted up @ 1/2 power – most likely radio triggered given no line of sight and IR interference from setting sun.

  30. 32 says

    This is fun! Here’s my take or try (p.s. I haven’t read any of the others reply so I don’t know if I’m too late with this analogy)-

    Light source 1 is the setting sun in the background – backlightling the trees/making background silhouette

    #5 is a speedlight on the ground or on a lightstand couple of feet back, aimed at couple and set to slave and manual output at about 1/2 to 1/4 power

    #4 is the cars own headlights used to bounce back to couple by a reflector setup which is number 3

    #3 the reflector using the cars own headlights to bounce light from the right onto the couple

    #2 by the looks of the color I would say this is maybe a video light coming from camera left acting as just a fill or touch of warm light to lift the shadows and provide the warm tome on brides dress and blend with headlight color bounced from reflector – camera left

    The WB looks tricky – I think I would shoot on auto and adjust/tweek RAW file in post but, color tempterature is warm so maybe wb set to shade?

    Anyhow – just an amazing photo, can’t wait to see how he really shot it! thanks for publishing this!


  31. 33Lee says

    Great photo! Here’s my best guess…

    1. The Sun (Full Power)
    2. Video light or snooted flash a couple stops down for fill
    3. Reflector to re-direct headlights back onto the couple and the front of the car
    4. Car’s Headlights
    5. Bare flash on couple, zoomed to max

    Camera Settings: 1/50th | f/5.6 | ISO 1600
    WB: Sunlight

  32. 34Simone Paoletti says

    I think the lights of the Rolls are not on. They are reflecting external source(s) of light.
    In fact, there is no light spilling on the ground in front of the car, and also the bumper is quite dark.
    Also the color is amazingly matching the CTO gel color from source #3.
    Behind the car’s bumper I can notice a double shadow: one from source #3, the other must be
    source #4, positioned somehow in front of the car at the bumper’s height.

    #3 is the main source of light. It has a full CTO gel, it must be large (speedlight inside softbox ?)
    positioned more or less at the bride’s height slightly top to bottom (see the shadow projected
    on the bride’s dress from her right arm).

    #2 is lower intensity (maybe 1/2 power of #3) and directed top-bottom towards the bride’s dress
    (smooths the shadows on the dress from source #3). Quite directional: grid ? It is also gelled.

    #4 is a speedlight positioned on ground (more or less same height of the car’s bumper), bottom to top,
    just in front of the car. It acts like a “beauty” light on the bride’s body, softening shadows, and lifting
    a bit the bride’s dress. Maybe 1/4 power with respect to source #3. Full CTO gell.
    Care is taken not to throw direct light on the bumper: so probably it is flagged.

    #5 is a speedlight, no gel, oriented vertically, positioned low, probably on the car’s entrance step,
    slightly directed to camera left, pointing to the bride’s veil. Its white light is
    giving rim to the faces, the bride’s veil and it is also spilling a bit on top of the car’s engine
    (reflection from the bride’s veil ?)

    #1 is the sunset.
    There is slight noise in the picture, so maybe 1600 ISO at F4.5 f=35mm on full frame.

  33. 35Rob says

    1.) Sun at full power. Reflected off high clouds… Diffused by trees, houses…etc.
    2.) Streetlight.
    3.) Headlights from another car (another RR limo?). Explains the double shadows and elevation (same as limo’s). Car front would act like a reflector and soften the direct light.
    4.) Headlights.
    5.) LED light held by assistant. Reflections and shadows on hood doesn’t look like a zoomed/snooted flash.

    High ISO… 1600? Widish angle 35mm. f4 – f5.6, 1/30 -1/60s, Daylight WB

  34. 36khang says

    Light sources:
    1. Sun – ~2 stops under
    2. Strobe, gridded, CTO gel – correct exposure; pointing at the left headlight
    3. Softbox – ~ 1 stops under
    4. Car headlights
    5. Strobe, bare, zoomed or gridded – pointing at B&G heads

    Strobes were likely triggered by PW, RP, or the sort.
    Camera settings: f4 – f5.6, 1/160-1/200s, ISO400

  35. 37AL says

    My go at this:

    1) Sunset ambient, no gels, no modifiers, no triggering ;)
    2) Flash with beauty dish, Full + 1/2 CTO, PW triggered
    3) Flash with softbox, no gels, PW triggered, lower power
    4) Rolls Royce car headlights, constant source, no trigger
    5) Flash with Full CTO, PW triggered.

    Camera set to Tungsten WB with a PW trigger. Aperture opened up maybe f/4, Shutter around 1/250 to stop action, ISO boosted a bit to 800 – 1600.

    Haha, just my guess. I only do on camera flash with Neil’s book & tangents as my learning material.

  36. 38John says

    1 Sun set
    2 Softbox 1/2 cts
    3 video light hand held
    4 head lights
    5 bare flash 1/2 power
    wireless remote, 24-70mm lens

  37. 39 says

    1. car headlights
    2. camera front low position soft box with CTO 1/2 Gel
    3. camera left another portable softbox snooted with 1 or 2 stops dow / fill flash CTO gelled
    4. soft box rear used to light up subject from rear soft light
    5. had held portable strobe directly behind couple to light up vail and back light couple

    car headlights did not ad any light to picture discounted as contributed light source.

    camera f/4., iso 800, 1/25th,

  38. 40Rich says

    1. car headlights used to bounce light off gold reflector
    2. Strobe right small lighted softbox with 1.2 cto gell
    3. fill light camera right softbox with 1.2 cto gell 1 or 2 stops down
    4. softbox placed rear of couple soft back lighting / separation light
    5 small handle flash to light up couple

    f4, 800iso 1/30th second

  39. 41khang says

    Light sources:
    1. Sunset – exposed for sunset and then set ~2 stops under
    2. Strobe, gridded, CTO gel – correct exposure; pointing at the left headlight
    3. Softbox – ~ 1 stops under
    4. Car headlights, probably CTO gel
    5. Strobe, bare, zoomed or w/ snoot – 1 stop over; pointing at B&G heads

    Strobes were likely triggered by PW, RP, or the sort.
    Camera settings: f4 – f5.6, 1/160s, ISO400

  40. 42dave says

    OK…still new at OCF but here’s my guess:
    1. Sun-balanced for sunset, modified by the clouds/atmosphere adding the warmth, probably at about 1/8-1/16 power due to time of evening.
    2. Strobe @ 1/16 power with full CTO to match sunset probably thru a soft box , about 6-8′ from the B&G and angled slightly downward, on a stand because the assistant is holding #3…
    3. Reflector, gold. You can see the reflection in the passenger side fender (it’s a right hand drive Rolls…)
    4. Headlights, full power, tungsten
    5. Bare flash, no modifier, zoomed way out, possibly clamped to window or door, looks to be 1/2 or full power…it’s a little hot for me. maybe drop it down a little and CTO it too…
    Triggered w/RadioPoppers…Camera on a tripod at or just below waist level of the subjects, settings I think might be 120 at f5.6 – ISO800, 35mm lens on a FF sensor. If he shot in RAW, color balance is moot but he probably warmed it up a bit in post…to the equivalent of “Cloudy”…this is fun, and educational!

  41. 43 says

    Light sources:

    #1 Ambient light or sunlight

    #2) Large softbox or umbrella was used. But it lookign to be more like a large softbox with grid (egg crate attachment) unless a ecessed softbox was used like a Westcott Apollo. The flash has 1/2 CTO/CTS gel attachment It is at least 1/2 stop under the KEY light.

    #3 This is the KEY flash lighting with /12 CTO/CTS gel either with snoot or the flash head positioned at 70mm/95mm or even 200mm for focusing the beam on the couple. NO flash diffuser were used due to the harsh strong light it creates indicated on the bride’s shadow.

    #4 Car headlight to create the natural effect of it being running and alive.

    #5 ungelled flash placed close to the couple with flash ehad at 50mm or 70mm with power +2 to +2.7 stops above the KEY to create the white highlights on the bride’s veil.

    The camera is on MANUAl exposure mode at ISO 1600-2400 at least due to the noise levels on the shadow areas. The camera f/stop use is between f/4.5-5.6. The triggering of the off cameras flashes were eitehr done with PWs (radio trigger) or Nikon’s CLS/AWL.

    The shutter speed was at 1/60th or 1/80th of a sec on tripod.

  42. 44 says

    Light Source:
    #1 Ambient (Sun Light)
    #2 Video Light
    #3 Speed Light on stand
    #4 Head lights if that is considered a source, but I think it might be a street light, what is creating the light behind the wheel (picture left)
    #5 Speed Light on stand (low angle) or on ground pointing upward

    Via Pocket wizard or radio unit
    Video light – Hand held
    Head lights – switch on vehicle LOL

    Diffuser and modifiers:
    a diffuser on light #3 – soft-box

    Relations to one another:
    Light 3: Used as fill light, one or two stop more than than ambient light Not sure what time of day it was. Know that you can darken the skies and background with the light setup
    Light 2: Main light to light the couple. A tad stronger than light 3
    Light 5: same settings as light 3, just closer to the couple.

    Color balance:

    Camera settings.
    To difficult to tell iso. If it were the Nikon d3s you would be able to get a higher iso level than say the canon 1dmkiii
    F stop could be something like f8 or f11
    Shutter: 60, again depending of day

    Other stuff:
    The only thing I am not sure of except from everything else :-) where is the light coming from behind the right front wheel (picture left)

    However you did it Josh Lynn, its a great looking pic

  43. 45 says

    There are a few puzzling things I can’t quite explain in this picture, but first let’s get the obvious out of the way. The sky is the background and a regular flash is behind the couple, rather close and not particularly zoomed in if we were to judge by its spill on the hood.

    Well defined shadows of the bride’s earrings and behind groom’s ear would lead one to believe #2 is a small, tightly focused source, perhaps a snooted/ gridded flash with a warming gel.

    I’m scratching the back of my head for the rest to be honest. First the actual sunset is over on the right side of the picture out of shot. Second, there are double shadows behind both bumper vertical elements and the angle of those shadows would normally suggest a double source pretty close (second car headlights?), just a few feet away. Third, the horizontal part of the bumper is dark and offers no apparent clues as to what #3 might be, even though you can see #2 pretty clearly. This is more puzzling as no reflection usually escapes a round, shiny bumper. The bride is clearly visible at the curved end. Josh’s head is there as well. The “front” sources (they have to be two because of the double shadows) should be clearly visible too on this darned bumper.

    The shadows cast by bride’s arm / forearm suggest one light set fairly low and just over the right of the photographer which makes it #3. It’s size however cannot be big unless Josh has removed its reflection from the bumper in post, so no umbrellas/ no softboxes of any kind here. The relative sharpness of the “main” shadows cast by the bumpers and bride’s arm also suggest a simple flash head aimed at the couple. The reflection of a small size source would also be easily hidden or less apparent on the bumper (there is actually a spot that could potentially be “it”).

    This leaves us with the second “softer” bumpers/bride arm shadow who could only be caused by the setting sun which is about 50-60 deg (or somehing like that) over on the right side (cloud illumination also suggests this).

    Then again, I wasn’t there and I could be completely off :-).

    In terms of equipment used… well… brand is not really relevant, any 3 strobes would do the job right especially in manual mode. Triggering could also be anything really, even a cable to #3 and optical slaves on 2 and 5 would work but I don’t think that was the case when radio is much, much simpler.

    I don’t know what else, it’s getting really late and I’m startin’ ramblin’…



  44. 46Jan Bakker says

    D3s,subject distance 3.6 m, carwidth 2 m, photo non cropped => focal length 34 mm
    DOF 1 m in front and 2 m behind the subject => f-stop f/4
    light background => 1/250 s
    sunset gives 10 EV => 400 ISO


  45. 47Jan Bakker says

    D3s, subject distance 3.6 m, photo non cropped; car width 2 m => focal length 34 mm
    DOF 1m in front and 2 m behind => f-stop = f/4
    Light background => 1/250 s
    sunset gives 10 EV => 400 ISO

    1: sun and clouds; background
    2: ambient light(sky); foreground
    3: silver reflector 48″x 30 “; 3/4 of de carfront and the couple
    4: two lights (tungsten) of the car
    5: speedlight radiotriggered, + 2 stops; veil and rim

  46. 48 says

    #1: The sunset
    #2: A different car’s headlights
    #3: A gold reflector bouncing back the RR’s headlights
    #4: The RR’s headlights
    #5: LED Video Light (would also make sense as an LED Flashlight. But may not look as professional)

    There is obviously some sunset coming in from the back. The variability of power here is kind of key to the image. This was shot very late in the sunset and thus yields weaker colors. This allows for weaker lights to be used.

    The second light is most easily discerned by looking at the reflections on the bumper. There are 2 stationary dots with a yellowish tinge located over the photog’s left shoulder. If it only took 5 minutes to set up, this is an easy time saver to just position your car pointed that way as you park.

    The third light is also seen on the car. This is something square and goldish. That would be either a softbox or a reflector. Because of the positioning and the fact that the headlights are on in the Rolls, a reflector would work well. This also reduces setup time. The power here can be varied by moving the reflector backwards away from the light. Because this is used for emphasis on the car, the power level is only needed to be high enough to show up in the grille.

    The fourth light is obviously the Rolls’s headlights

    The most punch is coming from the backlight and it has the whitest color. It is shooting kind of up at the subjects and lights underneath their noses. The level of punch is not incredibly important for the photo, so it would be a great place to use the LED video light (Like a MicroPro). You could set it on the ground and barely need to adjust it.

    So to adjust the power levels, you would move the extra car backwards, move the reflector backwards, and adjust the power level of the video light. Seems to me like the fastest way to set this up. No triggers, no flash power levels, only 2 pieces of lighting equipment.

  47. 49Theo says

    1. Sunset
    2. Bare flash on monopod held by assistance
    Set to manual 1/2 power to remove shadows
    triggered by on camera flash set to commander mode
    With full CTO
    3. Lights from an auto facing the BG
    4 Relection from #3
    5. Mini Slave at full power
    Triggered by on camera flash set to Master mode, flash on camera is off

    Camera setting:
    Tungsten WB
    Apersture F/5.6
    Shutter 1/160
    ISO 400