Monday, February 27, 2012

How I Got The Shot # 27 - Mixed Lighting - Promo For Cell Phone Advert

As some of you know I contribute and participate over at Project52.
This weeks assignment is to create a Point of Purchase banner image.

Lets look at what it took to make these images!

Lets start off with the Tech Stuff:

Nikon D50
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
SB-26/SB-28 Nikon Flash units(gridded)
Motorola RAZR phone with a flashlight app

For the assignment, the aspect ratios on the image were to be 7x3.  This was easily accomplished in Lightroom by using the crop tool and setting the custom aspect ration to the size above.  I needed to be careful when composing the image.  I needed to leave enough room for the model and the phone to both be in the image.

I placed the rear flash on a light stand and pointed it directly at the back of the models head.  Power setting was 1/64th.

The second light was sitting on the floor pointing straight up.  It too was at 1/64th power - but I used a 2 stop ND gel - which made the light output actually 1/256th.  I'll explain why here in a minute.

I instructed the model that we were looking for her to be  "astonished" and "mesmerized" by the technology.

Now, lets look at the EXIF data.

Shot in manual mode
1/20th @ f/4, ISO 1600

Why those settings?  We did something a little tricky here and we were mixing the ambient light of the cell phone app with the strobes.

By doing this, I had a little bit of trickiness going on.  I needed to balance the ambient exposure with the flashes.

I took camera readings of the ambient exposure and what you see above is what looked best - just exposing for the face.

I then brought in the strobes and started at their weakest.  For the flash on the cell phone, 1/64th was still too much and kept over exposing the phone and models hand.  So, I needed to add a 2 stop neutral density gel to the flash - which makes it 1/256th.  For those who are not familiar with neutral density gels, they decrease the intensity of the light without changing it's color temperature.

For the hair light, I liked how it was a little more bold, so left it as it was 1/64th.
Here is a lighting diagram that shows the placement of the lights relative to the camera and the model.

You might also be asking - why the grids?  Well, I wanted tight control of the light without any spill onto the model(other than her hair and the cell phone).  Grids provided that for me.

This was a fun little project and I pushed the envelope a little.