Friday, 24 January 2014

Tutorial: High Key Pin Up shoot

Here are some photos from a pin-up photo shoot.

We did the shoot with a relatively simple lighting set-up:

We shot everything in a room with white walls. This gave us a lot of bounce from the three hotshoe flashes we used. We put a bed sheet on the floor to make it reflect the maximum amount of light too.

The model would pose close to a white wall. We lit the wall with two hotshoe flashes on light stands. White shoot through umbrellas were mounted on the light stands. That gave us plenty of light on her upper body and on the wall.

I put a third flash on a Gorilla pod, a mini tripod, on the floor, turned away from the model, firing into a Lastolite TriGrip reflector that reflected the light back on her legs.
We improvised and used any prop within reach to create visual interest.
 Because the light pulse from a flash is very short, the shutter time does not affect the brightness of the flash. It does affect the ambient light though. The aperture, on the other hand, affects both the ambient light and the light from the flash.

In addition to changing the aperture, there are two more ways to affect the brightness of a scene: changing the ISO setting and changing the strength of the light from the flash itself.

I wasn't concerned with the ambient light, so I set the shutter time on 1/80 s, and left it there for the shoot. I set the ISO to 200, because I wanted to keep the noise levels low.

The two flashes with umbrellas ran on about 1/4 power. I used a 30 mm prime lens and started off with an aperture of 8, but soon opened it up to 6.3 to get an extreme High Key look.

We worked for seven hours, and the model was as cheerful and inventive at the end of the shoot as she was in the beginning. As you can see, we did a great variety of set-ups, with different clothes, poses, and camera angles. We wanted to avoid making the mistake of shooting the same thing over and over.

The whole thing was fantastically fun, and it was a true collaboration, we created the photos together.

I'll publish more pictures from the shoot in a few days.