SETUP-12: HA HA HA HA… STAYING ALIIIIIIVE….
finally, it’s time for another SETUP-HOW-TO. This time, we will talk about color in your photographs. Normally there are only a few ways of bringing color into your photograph. Through the outfits or through your desired background.
Studio photographers often use colored background but in my eyes, they are pretty close to BORING!!!!!! Well, often they are just boring.
So how can we get a lot of different color into our photograph without using colored background??? Well, flashlight is the solution but it doesn’t solve the problem what to light up. This it, where FOG comes into play. There are very cheap fog maschine for about 30 dollars and we all know that fog tends to become bright white when lit up.
So in our case, we can use the fog as a colored background. We get structure, we get contrast, we can get several colors and it is very cheap.
At this point, let’s jump forward into the future. Have a look at the photo for the tutorial today. It’s about DISCO FEELING!
We thought a lot how to create a disco feeling in our studio. The main problem with discolights are, that they are built out of hundreds of colored spots. Have you ever seen a nightclub with just 3 or 4 lights??? No… certainly not!
A way could be using the originals lights in a nightclub but the problem with those light is the power and the strength. They do have a few hundreds watts of power but not enough for a really high quality studio shot.
So how can you multiply your number of strobes??? Well, the same way they do it with discolights. They take one bulb and put something infront of one light source which does have several holes with several gels in it.
And that is what we did. The picture above shows a normal proctection tube from the new Elinchrom BXri heads. There are severel holes (SLICES) in the cup to enable the flashtube to cool down. We simple took a lot of different gels and a whole lot of tape and attached all the gels to the holes.
You can see the result in the photo above. DISCO!!! And we used f5.6 with ISO100… :-) Show me a nightclub with f5.6 at ISO100 at 1/160s!
Ok, we finished the specialty about that lighting setup. Let’s go straight to the “normal” things. Have a look at the scene from above on the sketch down below.
We used a total of 5 strobes to light up that scene.
- TWO 500Ws heads for the background. One strobe at the height of our models face, one just below the hips.
- ONE 400Ws head to light up our model with a snoot. (YELLOW)
- ONE 200Ws head to lighten up the whole model (underexposed 1 f-stop with a 1m x 1m SOFTBOX)
- ONE 200Ws head to create the nice red glow on our models body (GRID WITH BARNDOORS AND GEL)
Let’s come to the individual purpose of each flash. Every flashhead used in our photo has a certain purpose. So why did we use all of those strobes.
- BACKGROUND: Easy to answer… we wanted to have two of those lovely colorefects in our final photo.
- SNOOT: With the snoot, we focused the viewers attention to the face of our model. Always remember. The more color or efects you put into one photo, the more care you have to take to REFOCUS the viewers attention to the most important things. Look at the difference in light on her face and on her legs… that’s the snoot!
- SOFTBOX: Only the snoot would be to extreme. We wanted to be able to show the details of the black cloths on our model.
- RED GEL: If you lighten up a background brighter then your model your photo will tend to look like a retouched photograph. It’s totally superficial. Not natural at all. So we used the red gel to “connect” our model to background. This way, it really seems as if our model would be in the scene rather than IN FRONT OF IT!!!
Ok, that’s about all you have to know about the setup. Always keep in mind when working with fog. If you get fog in front of your model, it will look as shot through an old window… no sharpness, no contrast, just bright and blured. When we shoot with fog in the studio, we do 3-4 shots before emptying the whole room of the fog!
And as shown a lot of time… we do want to prove that you can take photographs which come out of your camera nearly perfectly. There is no retouching with colors or efects. You don’t need to if you plan your setup and thing about what has to be done.
Click on the image above to download the CANON RAW FILE… 22MB out of the 5D Mark II.
We do hope, that we could show you with this tutorial that every step you do, should have a certain purpose… should have a certain and desired result. Never use a flash if you don’t know exactly why? If you don’t know? There is no reason to use the strobe!!! So switch it of!