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Old 19th of December 2006 (Tue)   #1
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Default Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

Hey guys,
Long time lurker, first time poster. Found some really valuable info on here over the last few weeks so I finally decided to join and shoot out a question regarding outdoor lighting.
In 2 weeks I will be doing a fashion photo shoot and the brief is that it is to be on a beach in the final moments of sunset - so the sky is really golden and starting to darken. The client doesn't want the model to be very bright against her surroundings but rather almost part of them. He wants a 'natural earthy feel'.
So my thoughts were - position the model to have the sun setting behind her, almost peeking over her head, so that it provides a good hairlight and high contrast around the face. Then I wanted a reflector or two to cast a warm glow over her shadowed side. I don't think I'll use a flash as this may illuminate her too much and seperate her from the background which doesn't seem to be what the client wants. My question is - will reflectors be enough or should I use a softbox as well? Sorry for the essay I just wanted to illustrate the scenario.
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Old 19th of December 2006 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

Hmmm...I don't have expert advice, but I'm an experimentalist by nature. I think I'd head out to the beach right now and play around with the options. You could bring a friend as model, or even use yourself. One thing to consider is that in the actual shoot you'll be very pressed for time, because of how fast the sun goes down, so you'd be well served to have your system down pat. I'd expect to spend 3-4 evenings on the beach before I got it right. (Actually, with my talent I'd expect 300-400!)

Of course, this idea assumes you have infinite free time...

All I want is a 10-2000 f/0.5L with no distortion that weighs 100 grams, fits in my pocket, and costs $300. Is that too much to ask?
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Old 19th of December 2006 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

What you intend to do will not work like you hope it will. The reflectors are not another light source, they are only bouncing the available light back onto the subject and as such they will lose some of their "power." Not only that, but two reflectors will require two assistants to hold them because you will only have about 10 minutes of shooting time if you wait as long as you have indicated and you need to spend your time shooting not running back and forth adjusting two reflectors on light stands. If you want the subject to be a "part of her surroundings" then you will need to add additional light to her that is the identical "power" and approximate color temperature as the ambient light is. I would use a D/C powered flash unit in an umbrella or softbox with a warming gel over the tube (don't allow the gel to touch the tube is it gets hot and can melt the gel.) Place the subject where you are going to shoot her, place your light on a stand, meter it, meter the ambient light then adjust the aperture so they match. You may have to move the flash in or out or adjust the power of it to get a matching aperture. Your shutter speed cannot be faster than synch speed (should not be a problem.) If she doesn't move laterally or forward or backward, and you don't move the light, the meter reading will not change for a minute or two. Meter every two minutes or so and adjust your aperture and shutter speed accordingly. The flash unit will control the amount of light on your subject, the shutter speed will "control" the sunshine which is your hair light, background light and perhaps your kicker light. If you ignore your shutter speed your backgrounds will get real dark. Photoshop any mistakes!!!

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Old 21st of December 2006 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

Sounds like Benji may know what he is talking about. If you still have questions, head over to the "glamour" section, I've found that most of the photographers there will answer any "how to" or "wow, I love your did you..." questions.

Good luck.

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Old 21st of December 2006 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

i was going to give some advice, but then read Benji's post, and realized that the post not only sums up everything i was going to say, but also adds about 10x the info. Good luck with the shoot, and let us see the results!

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Old 21st of December 2006 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

very well put together by Benji, all the details were well explained. that type of shoot depends on a lot of factors, since its outdoor and it's a very specific look, things can get tricky, especially with the time frame you have to deal with. Here are a few samples I shot with a couple of weeks with the similar situation.

Reflector Shot:

Reflector and Fill-Flash Shot:

Single Flash Head with Strip Box:

Just playing around a few shots:

You can also check out my WEBSITE and my FLICKR Site

Hope this help in anyway.
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Old 21st of December 2006 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Outdoor fashion shoot lighting

Cheers for all the info there Benji, gives me some good ideas of how to set it up.
Ron, Your first and last image are closest to what I believe the client is after. I'll go experiment tonight and tomorrow night and see what I can magic up.
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