Years ago, when the notion of onboard slave eyes in hot shoe flash was a new thing, I shot a street scene somewhat similar to this, with the Speedlights all triggering with line-of-sight technology. Fun pic, hard to do, but we managed. Obviously, line-of-sight works perfectly well, except of course when your lights are perhaps behind a wall, or inside a building. One of the reasons I have welcomed radio TTL technology is that it makes a picture like the above, a much more amplified version of the older pic, much more doable. I stop short of saying easy. Let’s just keep it at doable 🙂
So the below was older style tech, and I think, if memory serves, we used about sixteen flashes or so. Street corner in NYC.
The new street scene up above in the header was 32 Speedlights, 18 of which were controlled by radio, which is the max for the new radio TTL SB-5000 system. The others (a mix of SB-5000 and SB-910 units) triggered off of the radio units, using the traditional, onboard slave eye. It was much easier to work this out, though the pre-shot game plan below doesn’t completely indicate, well, simplicity.
You’ve got six groups with the SB-5000, and we used all of them, dividing the buildings and floors each into a separate group. Camera lived across the street and I shot this with a D850 fitted with a Nikkor 24-70mm lens. The picture above with the lunatic scrawl on it was from an early scouting picture and the scene depicted here is in the lovely burg of Tarrytown, NY, just by the Hudson River. The pressure was on, a bit, as we had to get this scene lit and be ready by sunset. No givebacks, no do-overs. The authorities in Tarrytown were super helpful, but we were kind of a big deal out there on Main St. We had police helping direct traffic, permissions from the shop owners, models hired, crew racing around like crazy. We couldn’t come back and try it again, in other words.
Here’s a couple BTS snaps of lights being stashed, the overall scene.
It was great fun, and one of the best parts about it was that most of the model crew had posed for the studio before, so we knew each other, and had a blast.
Lynn, our magical producer/studio manager, wrote about it on her FB page.
A truly EPIC shoot! Okay, okay, no easy feat! (all totaled it was about 6-weeks of production). The biggest hurdles were getting the picturesque Village of Tarrytown on board, as well as the fantastic business owners: Main Street Sweets, Set Back Inn, and Anjelica’s Deli. Next up was putting together the amazing cast of 21 people (and of course Otis the dog :-): (left to right) Ava & Raelynn Lindsay Brooke, Jeanne O’Brien, Christine Prendergast, Madeleine Keating, Laeticia Harrison-Roberts, Ryan Aiken, Andrew Tomasino, Polly Wood-Holland, Christina Benitan, Nik Pjeternikaj, Elijah Gravely, Marsha Larose, KariNa Chimbo, Kent Miller, Phil Nedwick, Jeff-Cheryl Cali, and Dan Manning, & Otis. As always, knew I could count on our A-Team crew: Michael Cali, Andrew Tomasino, Mike Grippi, Lynda Peckham, Anne Cahill, Deborah Engelsman, Nicolae Rita, Brittany Childs, Samantha Brown Peterson, James McAlvanah, Anabella Pope, and Jon Klein. Additional thanks to Sweet Grass Grill, for serving up delicious food all day to cast and crew! Needless to say, we have a lot of love for Nikon USA #nikonlove!
A shoot like this would test the mettle of any producer, but Lynn is, well Lynn. She has conjured elephants in the desert, upside down planes in the sky, a truck turned into a photo studio sitting on some of the most secure property of the NYC government, and now, this. Truly amazing.
The additional fun thing for me was the ice cream store in the shot was the same one I brought my kids to when they were small. The circle continues….