I wanted to try something different with this post and go a little more in depth with what goes into setting up the images I make. As always I try to get as much right "in camera" as I can and have a minimal amount of post work, such as color correction and contrast adjustments. In hind sight I would have planned a bit better as far as our location choices but we were running late on the day and so we agreed to drive around and try and find a few interesting places. Damn glad that choice was made! I like being challenged to think on my feet and work with what's in front of me. Having said that, I will work on better planning in the future!
I'm going to post a photo then below it post the lighting diagram that shows the setup for the image and explain a little of what I was thinking when I set the shot up. The above shot is actually the first image I want to show so here is the lighting set up for it.
As always you can click on any image to view it full screen.
This shot was pretty straight forward. We found this massive abandoned metal building that was completely open to the elements aside from another section that I will show later that did have a roof and 3 walls. I set the couple up about 6 inches from the wall making sure to keep their heads in a clean spot. I set up my 50" Westcott softbox, camera right and flew it above their heads and pointed down at roughly a 45 degree angle. Notice the position of the face of the softbox. I wanted to feather the light just across them as opposed to aiming it directly at them. This produces a softer quality of light and is much more pleasing to the eye than having a direct light or hot spot on them.
Move the camera just a foot or so to the side and introduce some flare from the direct sunlight in the corner of the frame and you can get a completely new look without changing anything other than your angle to the subject.
This shot is from the other side of the complex. I brought the couple out about 30 feet or so from the back wall for this shot. It was too dark inside to let the ambient light do the job of lighting the back wall so I set up an Alienbee 800 strobe behind them and camera right just out of frame. I feathered it across the wall to bring out a bit of detail. Set up just behind the couple is a small nikon speedlight. This was pointed directly at the couple and aimed up slightly. This is to give a bit of separation of the couple from the background by creating a bit of rim light.
This shot was from an open green space that divided the two previous sections. Very simple natural light shot with the sun high over their shoulders camera left.
Again, make a simple change and you can achieve a different look with minimal effort. I added a 47" round reflector camera right and used the gold colored side to add a bit of fill and add some warmth to the image. Reflectors can be a huge asset by giving you the ability to add a bit of fill light to a subject without having to set up another light.
The above and remaining images were all shot with this setup with only slight variations on the placement of the small softbox to the rear of the car. I set up the large 50" softbox about 2 feet in front of the car aimed just slightly up. This is my main or "key" light. The small 28" softbox is directly behind the car also aimed slightly up and is acting as a bit of fill. The speedlight is positioned about 5 feet to the right of the car and is acting as a rim light to create a tiny bit of separation for the back of her head.
I had a blast working with Ricky and Ashton and I can't wait to shoot their wedding in June!! If you have any questions about any of the setups feel free to ask in the comments.