Sunday, December 19, 2010

14/52 Ashley Glidden

Yet another crazy week, but not too crazy to punk out and not do my weekly portrait. This week's shoot was sandwiched between two other shoots, and once again photographing a model to whom I was just introduced. She did a great job, and I got to try my hand at using some big-light techniques with my little-guy strobes.

I met Ashley Glidden while she was modeling for a grad portfolio shoot I was doing. Ashley, along with all the other models that day, work over at Groupon. Over the course of shooting and speaking to her, she told me she had trained to be a professional dancer for 14 years. In her own words, "after being rejected by the foremost company in the nation, I decided college was a suitable alternative." Now she finds herself in Chicago, still keeping up on her dancing, and making people happy with daily deals.

The shoot I did before that was for Theresa Louise's grad portfolio. Theresa is Ignatius' girlfriend. The shoot featured Theresa's home-made masks. They are constructed in pairs, and we did three pairs with a different look for each. Here are some photos from that shoot:

It's not every day you have such interesting subjects set in front of you. I was given free reign to do whatever I wanted lighting-wise, and I did my best to differentiate each set from the next. It's been a while since I've lit two subjects at once, and it's notably more difficult than just lighting one.

After this shoot, I asked for a volunteer for my project. Ashley bravely stepped up and I decided I wanted to go with the first background setup, in which she had already appeared. I've wanted for some time to try to use a feathered softbox as a main light. It's WAY easier when you have a giant softbox with a studio strobe in it, but I figured I'd give it a shot with my little lights.

I positioned the main directly camera right of the subject, and just far enough forward that the right side of her face would get the fall off. I supplemented this by a kicker from camera left, and I lit the background separately with a bare strobe back camera right through barn doors. It reads more or less as the same light source as the main, but I wanted hard light to define the texture of the fake flowers, and to allow me to independently control exposure. When feathering a small softbox, I think it's impossible to get the kind of falloff you are really looking for. In retrospect, I should have supplemented by throwing a reflector low camera left. Live and learn.

I used a super clamp to rig up the kicker light. I used barn doors to control spill and to prevent flaring.

Here's a pullback of the main and the background light.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 camera right through lasolite 24" softbox with 1/4 CTO gel
SB-800 back camera left with barn doors
SB-600 back camera right with barn doors

Camera Settings:
1/250 f/3.2 at ISO 100
Nikon 35mm f/1.8

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