Today on The Slanted Lens, we are creating a fantasy portrait with simple elements. We’re shooting a stylized shot of a girl holding an umbrella in the wind — just a fun exercise in lighting on a set.
We will create an environment with three main elements: 1) clumps of grass in the foreground, 2) a tree branch from my backyard, and 3) a gray and gloomy backdrop. We created a small structure for her to lean on that will give the impression that she is leaning into the wind. A couple large fans and some handfuls of leaves will complete the set.
#1 We will use a Dynalite studio head with a medium soft box with a grid as our first light. These heads have a nice, soft quality about them. Here is the image with just this first light.
#2 We then added three Photoflex FlexFlash heads to light the background. We set them on the floor pointed up at the backdrop. This will make the drop darker at the top and lighter near the bottom which creates some depth.
#3 Our last light is a Dynalite travel head with no modifier. We will use this as a rim light to separate the girl from the background and pick up highlights in the grass.
#4 Here is our lighting diagram for this setup.
#5 To create the flowing look of the dress, we will attach fishing line to the hem in three places and wave it up and down during each shot. We had some of the crew throw leaves into the fans to help finish off the look. These details add action to the image and really help to complete the illusion that she is about to be blown away in the wind.
#6 Here is the final composite image after Julene cleaned it up in post. I love this type of image. They are fun to shoot and create a great product.
It does not take a lot of large elements to create a large looking set. Get out there, take those elements around you and create some interesting environments.
Thanks for watching! Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.
-Jay P Morgan