Light is Everything!

Lighting Techniques

Mount Olive Lutheran Church

 

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Being that I am a Pastor by day, Photographer by day off, I have a few connections with other Pastors and Churches. When the two worlds collide it’s a cool experience. I was up in Regina, Saskatchewan doing some photography for Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Such projects include building/grounds photos, portraits of staff & workers as well as a library of stock images that can be used on websites, e-publications, etc. It’s a lot of fun with lots of opportunities to be creative.

One of the other cool extras of this assignment was that Rev. Ted Giese, one of the pastors at Mount Olive along with Rev. Terry Defoe, is that Rev. Giese does movie reviews from a Christian perspective. He is regularly featured on an American Lutheran Radio program called Issues, etc. As such, I knew I wanted to do a movie-poster-inspired portrait of Ted that was a bit more edgy than the regular “nice light” I typically do for such a project.

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So for this portrait I shifted the color spectrum into tungsten to give the photo a very cool and shadowy feel. The BTS photo below shows the location of this two light setup. By using an empty corner for the shot you get a free, nifty background location with varying degrees of light fall off shadows and gradients. I used a soft lighter on the floor with my Alien Bee 1600 for the fill light. It was just left in daylight white balance which was shifted blue by the tungsten control in camera. The key light was an SB-900 in a Lumiquest Softbox III that was gelled CTO taking it back to a daylight color. Had I done this shot over again, I would have thrown on an extra 1/2 cut of CTO to warm that key light up more and give it an extra color contrast. But the end result is a really cool feeling movie-reviewing-Reverend type look. :D

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The Small Space Studio

 

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Can you turn this into a studio?! Yep.

Most of the time we tend to think of photography studios as huge places of sprawling, ginormous, north facing window light. It’s luxurious and lovely. For full time working pros, it might even be a necessity. But for enthusiast types like me, I can’t justify the expense. I wanted to try and see if I could achieve studio results in a really, really small space. These photos were taken in my 9×10 office. A cheap black sheet for background, some inexpensive lighting setups and you’re good to go. The best thing is that this small little studio space is portable. I can take it with me so there’s literally no place I can’t achieve similar results. Here’s a location setup of the small studio. Move some furniture and you’re golden! :cool:

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Playing with Light

It’s been a busy little while these past days, mainly spent shovelling snow and fighting off depression from this never ending winter. It’s truly like in the Chronicles of Narnia where it’s always winter and never Christmas. Except that we know Christmas has already passed. MONTHS ago. And we are still stuck in the mad grips of winter. Oodles of snow, cold temperatures. I’m on the edge! ;) But I will prevail. Lots of fruit and green veggies. Lots of photos…

Speaking of which, I’ve got a combo blog post here from a couple of recent shoots. I’ve really struggled lately with just posting clients’ photos for the sake of posting. I’ll leave that up to them to decide how much they want to share with family and friends. I’m going to concentrate more on the techniques used for the shots and a bit about why these images have been made the way they are (click on the images below for the info). I find that aspect lacking in many blog posts from famous photogs. There is an amazing one by the legendary Greg Heisler where he photographed Yasser Arafat for Time. He lit it all with a simple soft box and black velvet ¬†background. But why? I watched the video wondering why he chose to light the image that way. [Speculation about being shot??? Gotta be fast! ;)]


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