For today’s lighting tutorial lesson, we are shooting publicity shots for world famous trick roper Will Roberts with speedlites. For our shoot we came across four obstacles:
- We are shooting in direct sun.
- We want to freeze the rope.
- We want to blur the rope.
- We want interesting light.
I have chosen to place the direct sun as a rim light. In doing so, I have turned the negative of direct sun into a positive rim light and my ﬁrst light in the lighting setup. When I get a proper exposure for the rim light, it darkens the sky and helps it turn dark blue.
I don’t want to see so much of the ranch house, so I will get low to give me a simple blue sky as the background. Choosing a 24mm lens also allows for a very dramatic action ﬁlled frame. I’m using the Tamron 24-70mm lens at 24mm. I love this look.
For my light source today LensProToGo sent us two Speedlights to use for our shoot. I’m using the Speedlight because it’s portable and will sync at 200th of a second and freeze the action of the rope. Most strobes will not sync at this speed.
To soften the light I am using the Portable Speedlight Kit by Photoﬂex. It gives me 2 OctoDomes, stands, and brackets to shoot with Speedlights. Adding this one light to the rim makes a more interesting image. It opens up his face and body. I am using the Speedlight on manual and set it to full power. This gives me a correct exposure. I am syncing with pocket wizards.
Shooting at 200th of a second and f6.3 we got some great shots of him with the frozen rope. The Speedlight did its job.
Now I will move the shutter to 1/50th of a second and the aperture to f13. I dialed the Speedlight down to 1/4 power and moved it out slightly. This gives me a correct exposure and allows the rope to blur.
Here is the difference between 1/200 of a second and 1/50th of a second. The Speedlight has a fast sync speed and allows me to shoot at 200th of a second. This gave us the ability to shoot both blurred and frozen rope action.
We had to shoot in direct sun, wanted nice light, and needed blurred and frozen shots of the rope.
To overcome these obstacles we shoot with the sun as a backlight, and used a Speedlight to allow us to shoot at 1/50 and 1/200 of a second, giving us blurred and sharp rope effects. Last of all we used a Photoﬂex Portable Speedlight Kit to get soft, nice light on his face. Will was great to work with and a very talented man. Good luck with the Speedlights.
Keep those cameras roll’n and keep on click’n.
-Jay P Morgan