The lovely Billi Shah looks languid, relaxed and calm here. Just a forest spirit, floating through the ferns, admiring the greenery. Truth be told (and this is where you need a hardy, beautiful and patient model) it’s actually pretty cold and gray in the woodlands surrounding Birmingham, UK. The frontal light is provided by an Ezybox Pro Octa held aloft by Cali with a Manfrotto Extension Handle.
The camera for this pic is the Nikon Z6 with the new 14-30mm lens, which has become, for me, an essential go-to lens in the new mirrorless world we live in.
The backlight, which is important to the scene above, comes from a Lastolite tri-flash laden with three Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights, all gelled to throw off the color of sunrise, or sunset. Play with a setup like this. The flash output (manual, full power) is enough to flair into the lens and actually hide the fact that it’s machinery back there and not the sun. I have the Speedlights in the picture, but the gaggle of them don’t look like Speedlights. So, sometimes I hid the lights behind Billi’s head, other times I let it play as potential sun flare.
Note the stocking cap Matt is wearing below. It was definitely cold!
You can see the entire BTS video on the Lastolite by Manfrotto App
I felt like this forest gnome, equipped with a big softbox, leaping out of the forest, camera in hand. (Also using a Halo reflector here to fill from below.) It was fun, and, thankfully, done quickly, given the threatening weather. You can really work fast like this. TTL radio commands the flashes, and the collapsible Lastolite shapers are easily transported in and out of all manner of places. The stuff works well both in the studio and on location.
In the frame above, the warm backlight goes missing. I either put it too far away, or it didn’t fire, and some measure of interest and dimension definitely goes missing without it. Below is further evidence of Billi’s patience as I am directing her, while I’m all wrapped up in winter clothing. The perils of location…..
Many thanks again to the Lastolite crew. They are sharing this on the app, mentioned above, and also on their FB pages.
Marco P. Garavagiia says
Dear Joe and Crew,
Thank you once more for another fine blog on location photography. I realize you are shooting wireless with the new Nikon radio frequency transmitter and flashes. Recently, I tried to purchase a new adapter WR-A10. However, these units are on back order. i have contacted Nikon USA about my unit falling apart and reassembling it. As a Nikon Ambassador, do you have any insight into their durability and order status.
In addition, that you for all your blogs, videos and workshops. Your are like a leprechaun with Lastolite gear and Nikon equipment. Because of your recommendation via usage, I have bought a lot of the gear. Now all I need to do is practice what you preach.
Peter Panebianco says
Very nice work Mr. Joe
Awesome Bts info
I really love your work! you are really an artist!
Please keep in mind that this is just my humble opininion.
I want to improve my skills and try to learn. Due to that, I just would like to describe what disturbs me
Technically, it is surely an impressive shot,
Anyhow, I’m not sure how this shot reflects usual viewing experiences:
– there is only one sun shining to the earth. What created the highlights and shadows oppostite of the (simulated) sun (esp. on the face, arms and hands? Without any explanation (“prop your lights”?) it does not look realistic to me.
– the light from the (simulated) sun is not even, there are some radial sections which are darker (due to the used Flash-Setup?)
You also included an image, where you think the the warm backlight got missing (for whatever reason). Personally, I think that that photo looks much more realistic (no contradiction of light sources) and might benefit from cropping?
T reiterate, I just try to describe my impression(s). Your mileage might vary, but if you have different arguments/opinions/reasoning, I’d be pleased to read them…
Billi totally sold the warm forest look. Great model to be able to pull that off.
Love your photography! You are amazing!
Md Asad says
Amazing work. I love your work.
Brennen Tope says
She’s very beautiful and your photography makes it more apparent!
Really amazing photography. I really love your work! Keep doing same!!
Doug Burke says
This was an amazing article to read and I hope I can find a way to relate this me my wedding photography in Greensboro.
Great work, that place looks beautiful!
Valent Lau says
That extended light tree is serious stuff!
Can I ask you where do you get inspiration from?
Joe McNally says
Hi back…just comes. (And goes!) Reading, movies, art, the collage of my head. Always been a dreamer, and stare out the window a lot. Which is an important part of the job, actually….all best, Joe
Jesse Page says
This post was so great and I look forward to trying some of these techniques for wedding photography.
Mark Preston says
The images you make, with such light weight equipment is just amazing!! I come from the commercial world, where you want a 5 ton grip truck and 12 cases before you leave the hotel. You’ve got a great eye!!!
Joe McNally says
Many thanks! Appreciate the kind words. Love those 5 ton grip trucks!!