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Advanced Studio Lighting

Today we are going to take a look at an image that I (Zach) shot for new Squint recording artist Joel & Luke. These guys are really amazing and shooting them was a blast! Joel (who is in the shot below) and his brother Luke are incredibly talented and have an amazing sound.

The image below was a complicated shot done with 3 lights on-location inside Healthways company in Franklin. This is simply an office space that we turned into a studio for the shot.

Here is the set up.


As you can see from the behind the scenes image, there were offices, signs, and tons of junk in the background that we did not want in the shot. Also, you could also see right through the chains, so just lighting it from the front would not have been sufficient. I knew that lighting the back of the gold chains would create this highlighted effect with light shooting around in the background and would make the shot look like it was right out of the studio.

We set up one light in the front that was almost straight on (glamor lighting) and used a huge light source that makes the light super soft and gives it that painted on look. The soft box above is 5 feet in diameter and that is why the shot has this look. We then added two kicker lights (or separation lights) at 45 degree angles coming in and hitting the background to light it up, and then also lighting Joel’s shoulders and face. These lights are bare bulb which is why they have that contrasty effect and make the image really pop out. It makes the background look the way it does and also makes Joel look very 3 dimensional.

We metered the main light at f/11 which gives it tons of depth and makes the shot look super sharp (there is no sharpening done in post on this shot), then we metered the background lights so that they both also metered at f/11 which makes them very obvious that they are there and makes the shot very “high-key” looking.

This is the actual JPG of the image and there is no post-production done to this shot. After metering the shot, I had Joel hop in for a few and this was one of the first three shots I took with no lighting adjustments (that is not always the case, but knowing your lights and the style you want can make things go very fast).

GEAR USED: Canon 5d Mark 2, 100mm macro 2.8 lens, ISO 100, f/11, three 500 watt powerlights (front light has 5 foot Octobank, back lights have 7 inch reflectors attached), all powered by the Vagabond 2 from Alien Bees

Below is one more image from the shoot that has both brothers in it. This shot has an in-camera texture that was applied by shooting through the chains to give it this effect.

This post is courtesy of Zach & Jody Gray of Gray Photography

Named as one of Nashville Tennessee’s top wedding photographers in 2009, Zach and Jody are a dynamic photography duo who have quickly emerged into the wedding scene gaining local and national recognition for their work. They have been named by Westcott as one of their Top Endorsed Pros, received awards for their imagery, hosted numerous highly successful photography and business workshops across the United States, have been invited to lead a MasterClass at WPPI 2011, and their work has appeared in various publications including People Magazine, Southern Bride, and PPA Magazine.

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!