Taught last week at SVA, which was fun to do. Katrin Eismann has built a powerhouse program there for all manner of visual storytelling and communication. She asked me to come in and teach PhotoShop, but I elected to talk about lighting instead. :-)))
Got a chance to work with a wonderful dancer, Paul Singh. Fortuitously, one of the SVA studios has a door leading to an old fire escape, and an array of very large windows. ‘Tis the ongoing cruelty of Manhattan that such an array of windows never sees direct sun and yields a view of crumbling brick and mortar mere yards away. So, go out on the fire escape with a paint pole, a tri-flash and three SB 910 speed lights and make the sun.
Jon was out there with the lights, and I controlled them from camera via an easy angle my commander flash had to fire out the window. The rotating capability of the tri-flash enabled those three lights to pick up the signal.
On Facebook, my good friend and fellow shooter Fadi Kelada picked up on a variation in the shadows, and asked me if I used more than one light. I was moving fast and simply said yes, it was one light. Now, a tri-flash with three speed lights acts as one light….if you put it through a shaper or diffuser. Used raw, those pinpricks of light have slight variance in their point of origin, and hence a shadow will render as a multiple. Small thing, but I always remind people of it, and now, needed Fadi to remind me!
One of the reasons I tossed off the “It was one light,” answer was that most of the time, it was. For demo purposes, and I often do this in class, we switched up to a single source, a Profoto B1, to show the difference in the feel of the light and the strategies used.
Bingo. One light, one shadow. There is a fuzzy edge to the shadow stemming from the edges of the window frames and the fact that we couldn’t get the light that far away. Jon had it safety lined, but the paint pole only goes so far. Plus if we extended it any further, we would have been lighting up somebody’s bathroom in the next building.
The room looked like this without the addition of some sort of light.
Quick solution, done two ways. Many thanks to Katrin, and to Mike Corrado and Mark Suban, at the Nikon Ambassador Program, who made this possible and trekked in from Long Island on a Friday night. And thanks to the big guy, Jeff Snyder, of Adorama, for stopping by. Everybody went to the pub after the lectures, which was probably the single most important reason I retained the attention of the audience!