Photography & Filming

Lampshades, Tubs, and Profoto Lighting!

I did put a lampshade on the ever-patient Amber Tutton‘s head. (And it wasn’t even a New Year’s Eve party!) But the location offered more than lampshades. We spent the day making other images, taking advantage of the wonderful old house we had rented, moving around to different areas. In the scouting pictures I saw an old copper tub. Excitedly, I thought, bubbles! Then the fine print. No water, prop only. So, what to put in there apart from Amber?

Annie to the rescue, with yards and yards of fabric. I mean, a sea of soft shimmery fabric. Why not? While Annie arranged fabric, our wonderful HMU artist Sabrina arranged the seemingly yards and yards of Amber’s hair.

Oddly enough, photographically speaking, the smaller the room, often, the more there is to manage. Management of the lens is important, as the possibilities of distortion loom. Dark green walls, so no bouncing light around. Precarious perch on a ladder. Soft fabric, beautiful face, beckons for soft light. Nothing fancy, just a large Profoto deep translucent umbrella, used in shoot-through mode.

Annie did a great job on the BTS pix, maneuvering around this very tight space, and Sabrina was magic as she arranged the hair. Amber had to keep adjusting herself as she was laying on pillows and kept sinking ever deeper into the voluminous tub.

You might notice the tireless Jake Newell, in the BTS pix above, holding his hand into the interior of the umbrella. Quick notion, and something I’ve done throughout the years and years I’ve used umbrellas. The light generally is centered into the brolly, or slightly higher than center, given the construction of this style of light shaper. The main light in this instance is a Profoto B10X Plus. Great light, but its emphasis was a bit high for our subject, who, as I mentioned, was sinking into a tub.

Jake is holding a Profoto A10 unit in the lower quadrant of the umbrella, complete with dome diffuser. I’m controlling both lights with the Profoto Connect Pro at camera, and just introducing that soft pop of light from the A10 unit into the mix, driving some lighting emphasis downwards, towards Amber. A quick assist like this helps customize the feel of an awkwardly placed light.

More on this shoot to come as Amber progressed from the serenity of the fabric swaddled tub to the ferocity of this room!

Love the versatility of digital. Shot all the Amber pictures with a Nikon Z 9, and either a S series 24-70mm f2.8 or a 14-24mm f2.8, which is standard fare, I know. But for the last image in that wild room, I went, with the flick of a button, to 16×9 format. Given the sweep of the stuff in the room, it made sense.

This type of day…a deep dive into lighting, location and portraiture, is typical of two adventures we have coming up.

VEGAS!!! Beautiful faces, astonishing athleticism, extraordinary talent right from the shows of the Strip. Intriguing locations, from Vegas style to a cowboy town.

TALLINN! In Saaremaa, in the beautiful country of Estonia, a week-long adventure at an epic castle. Eight models, elegant locales, total immersion in how to light portraits in arresting and storytelling ways.

More tk…

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