Earlier this year, had a great time working with the Lastolite staff to create some light shaper videos, on location, in and around Birmingham, UK, which is a cool city, by the way. Nestled in beautiful countryside, but also presenting an urban sense of grit, there’s lots of stuff to shoot there. We were working exclusively small flash, deploying the Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight system, in conjunction with the Z mirrorless cameras.
In turns, we used raw light, big panels of diffusion, and small, camera bag stuffable soft boxes. Throw in some gels, some interesting locations, and some fun talent, and it made for a wonderful couple of days on location. Lastolite is planning on rolling out these instructional videos in an ongoing series. Stay tuned.
The first series of videos, all of which are available in mobile fashion on the Lastolite by Manfrotto app, revolve around the Museum of the Jewellry Quarter in Birmingham. Great place, filled with patina and character. The old-time work environments have been preserved really well. We used radio TTL in all situations, blessedly so, because in two of our scenarios, the lights were on the sidewalk outside the building and line of sight would have been tough to engineer. We used that style of light to create the banner pic above, which is warmed up, hard light, three Speedlights acting as one. In the other, we used the big Skylite Rapid diffuser, and that created a more painterly, soft but directional quality of window light, as you see in the below shot.
There’s one additional source in the photo of Maharshi, above. Cali is holding a Speed-Lite Two Plus soft box, fitted with a warming gel and a grid, just off camera right, and that gives our subject’s hair a bit of a warm highlight, or rim. One of my favorite pictures of late.
Below was a bit more intricate, not in the numbers of lights used, but just in sorting out how to cover two people in the photo, without resorting to a big, oversoft light source, which would have felt out of place in the work environment presented.
There are just two Speed-Lite Two Plus boxes lighting this, one with a grid, and one without. The un-gridded source is lighting my subjects. Pushing my f-stop here to f/11, hoping to cover the two actors in their own plane of focus. The gridded box is running in the background, again, creating a bit of a rim, and therefore some separation from the dark-ish background.
Many thanks to Luke Atkinson of Lastolite who shot the videos! And to Mark Langley and our models, Maharshi and Adam. More of these videos in the pipe, look for them on the Lastolite by Manfrotto app.