A wash and dry in Brooklyn. A horrific discovery in a dryer. It’s not just the underwear and towels in there with the dryer sheets. It’s a ballerina who will never tread the boards in the big city again. Evidently strangled with the ribbons of her own pointe shoes. Which could be construed to be ironical, if you are into that sort of notion.
Enter NY detective Nik Night. And, a possible suspect. No camera surveillance in the laundromat. Her word only, that she just found the young dancer in the dryer. The fact that she, too, is a ballerina raises Nik’s suspicions. Competitive jealously? Fight over a role? Boyfriend? She claims to know nothing, in the most offhand of ways.
And, enter the lights and colors! We went to town on this, a thorough, mad dash into the valley of the gels. Big thanks to Adorama for being open to the wacky, fun idea and doing all the editing work and featuring on Adorama TV. Additional thanks to Profoto and Lastolite for supporting us here! We lit the place basically from back to front, with big flash on the street (Profoto B-4 units). Technically, they are not on the street, they are clamped to the roof rack of my truck. And the packs are inside the locked vehicle. In New York, you don’t leave a B-4 unit on the street. You will be shooting available light quite quickly.
Inside, natural light…
With gelled B4 flash from outside. Neon in the windows? Police cruisers?
Inside, a mix of Profoto B10 Plus units and A1X for accents. The B10 Plus has been a revelation! Light, fast, powerful, absurdly easy to use. And the A1X, as they say, is the world’s smallest studio flash. Stick ’em anywhere. Like a dryer.
Mayhem on the set! Many thanks to photographer Seth Miranda for all the help and shooting these fun BTS pics! Seth is a great example of a talented young photog who has been able to branch out from shooting into teaching and becoming a wonderfully informed, reasonable reporter on all manner of trends, gear and developments in our industry. He offers commentary and advice, and backs that up with good pictures and excellent shooting skills. Check out his “Rewind” program on Adorama TV.
Seth also partners Daniel Norton, another fine photographer, who is an encyclopedia of lighting and teaching shooting skills wonderfully. Tip of the hat to Adorama for supporting these young shooters and giving them a showcase.
The beauty of how Profoto has diversified their lineup of flashes is that you can go from small size and power to big size and power and control all from the Air Remote. Which was great for me, for, as I say on camera, I had so many groups going I lost count of where things were and what set of lights corresponded to A, B, C, etc. I used only one light shaper for the talent. Everything else was raw light, with some sort of gel on it.
The trick of the lights was to create this crime scene world, and emphasize the colors of the night, or whatever might have already been there at the wash and dry. We took some liberties, lighting up the interiors of the dryers, which don’t actually have sources of illumination. These nooks and crannies were ideal for the A1X lights.
Many thanks to our talented models! Larena Danielle Poole, our (alleged) perp; our hapless dancer in the dryer, Erica Lynn Bridge; and our weary, seen-it-all gumshoe, Nik Pjeternikaj. Fernando Martinez shot fun video, and marshaled the work through the editing process. Thank you, Fernando! And thanks to the hardworking photographers Dustin Samman and Xzavian Cookbey who hung in there into the wee hours of the morning. They were terrific.
And thanks to Profoto and Cliff Hausner, who trekked all the way out to Brooklyn to do a late night run with us at a laundromat. Great place, real character. There was bemusement among the owners about what we were doing, but, they rolled with it. Whole crew laughed all night.
More adventures to come! Will she strike again?