Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My first 3-light setup

Finally getting around to experimenting with some lights. Took me long enough, I know.

I have been overdue for a decent self-portrait for a few weeks, so I spent a half hour yesterday making one. I am really pleased with the results, as i learned quite a few things.

First off, the gear.
The classic D300, of course.
50mm f/1.8 lens
My new favorite light: the WorkForce 1.0 million power handheld spotlight

and my two (huge and cumbersome) floodlights.

I originally started with just the WorkForce (WF). I held it at arms length and pointed it at my face. It is a spotlight though, and a very bright one, so once I got my exposure dialed in for what the light gave me, all i had was a circle on my face.
I knew that wouldn't do, so i lugged the floods out of my closet, set them up behind and on either side of me and turned 'em on. Holy cow those things are bright.
Holding the spotlight at arms length again (i need to figure out how to put these lights on stands) I fired a few more shots and called it quits with the camera; I knew I was going to have to do some work in Post.
I pulled up the images in Aperture, did some contrast, saturation and brightness adjustments... and then started fiddling around to see what looked cool. I ended up at the "shadows" slider, pushed it all the way over and nearly fell out of my chair. I have been trying to get this kind of look for months, and only succeeded rarely.
Here is a diagram of my setup (I'm having fun with the Bamboo Fun tablet)

Below are my 2 best shots. Yes, I look a little goofy. I was concentrating on not going blind from the WF spotlight.

Next on my list is to diffuse the WF a bit so the light wraps better. I'm thinking milk carton.

That's all for now!