Light Hackers Photography - 'Lighting Deconstructed' 2

For the second lighting breakdown in this series we chose to deconstruct another favourite image, and one we waited to shoot till the end due to the mess this shot produced.

The image we produced, entitled 'Under Her Spell' was from the same portrait series with Deborah as the previous post in this 'Deconstructed' blog.


Greatly inspired by a series of images created by Montreal based photographer Von Wong, we wanted to try what he accomplished with an array of studio strobes, but with just 3 flashguns!!

Here is the image that inspired us:


We were very pleased with our results especially considering this was the very first attempt in shooting with flour, and the lighting design was something we had planned in advance, so it was a case of fine tuning the settings and A LOT of trial shots (9 to be exact) to produce 2 images from the shoot.

Here you can see a behind the scenes shot from the location.


As you can see, we were lucky to make use of a VERY large veranda... actually this was at the mansion house built for Captain Livingstone's return from exploring Africa.
I can't stress enough the mess that flour creates... in Von Wong's work they went so far as to use electric fans to disperse the flour... it took them hours to clean up the mess produced, and they were shooting in a vacant warehouse. We chose to lessen the required cleanup, and still it took ages to vacuum the walls and everything in sight... Be warned, only leave essentials you are using in the vicinity!

In this 'Lighting Diagram' the full lighting arrangement and settings are shown.




The lighting was something we created to work, and it did. The hardest part of this type of photography is that you can't meter the flour in the scene or compose for it exactly. It becomes a trial and error at first till you home in the lighting and the way to disperse the flour at the chosen moment.


We found that a third amount of flour was needed to be thrown in, and added to what Deborah was throwing out.That came from the camera assistant throwing in a handful, using a verbal countdown to be in sync with Deborah's throws. A technique in actually throwing the flour was needed so it spread out correctly... A lot of variables we hadn't considered till on the actual shoot.


We shot 2 further clean plates, just of flour being thrown in front of the lens, to be backup elements in Photoshop... a very necessary move!!!


The final 2 images were graded in Lightroom, and composited in Photoshop.


Here is the second finished image from this series titled 'In The Clouds'



Well that's a wrap for now, but keep checking in for more 'Behind the Scenes' write-ups from us at Light Hackers.
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