Lighting “Who Dares”
To continue the series started in the previous blog post, I will cover here the lighting setup for another one of my favourite shots, “Who Dares”. This shot, just like “Doll Face”, was taken using only two small Nikon SB-600 flashes off camera. I’ll start my post again with the lighting setup diagram:
Grace, the lovely model for the shoot, is the co-owner of the local Anti-Hero clothing boutique. I definitely recommend you check it out if you’re in the area. Marlo, whom I already mentioned in the previous blog post, was the make-up artist for this shoot as well.
I positioned Grace about a meter away from a simple white background. The key light, a Nikon SB-600, was set to 1/16th power, softened with a diffuser and a Photoflex Lightdome XS softbox, placed camera left and raised to Grace’s eye level. The second light, another SB-600, with a diffuser and a vertically folded strip of paper taped to it as an improvised strip light, was set to 1/13th power and placed camera right, close to the background. In this position it acted both as a kicker and a background light.
The trick with lighting dark skin is not to overexpose it. The light from the small softbox gave a soft fill to Grace’s face, the kicker light shaped the side and added dramatic contrast to the shot. I had asked Grace to bring out her inner animal for the shoot, and she did just that, and brilliantly.
Here is the final shot (f8 @ 1/125, 200 ISO, 50mm):
I must add here that using the Creative Light System (CLS) from Nikon has been so much fun. The lightning-quick setup, the lack of power cords and ability to fully control the flash settings directly from the camera makes it an invaluable tool for small-studio photography. I can’t say enough praise for the amount of thought the Nikon guys put into designing this system. Thanks to CLS, the technical part of the shoot gets out of the way, and I can focus on the creative side.
This is it… Next time I’ll post the lighting setup for a three-light high-key portrait shoot I did earlier this week, and I promise, it’s going to be a good one.