We can now share some more photographs from our campaign for Gas Natural Fenosa, which we spoke about HERE.
The next technique we employed was creating patterns of light on our subjects by using different modifiers in front of our light source. Like we already said, we experimented with lots of different modifiers, both “official” light modifiers and different objects we liked.
One of the things we wanted to achieve was creating a thin line of hard light which ran across the subject. Getting this to work was harder than we thought, as we found out during our tests that most of the times we ended up having a not-so-defined line, or one that spilled or couldn’t be easily controlled… After trying different things, we asked broncolor for some equipment, including the Pulso Spot, which ended up being the winner. With it, we managed to get defined contours in our line and the ability to place it where and how we wanted.
We used this on Rossy de Palma’s portrait. We shot it with continuous light, being the Pulso Spot the main light. We also used an over-head Octabox 75 filtered blue, a Octabox 150 as a fill light, a Octabox 75 as a backlight and a Strip for the background. We also had a small light pointing at the lens, filtered with CTB. To add some texture we sprayed some water between this light and the lens right when we shot.
For the next photograph we did end up using one of our home-made modifiers, in this case, a pasta strainer. We really liked the pattern it created on our subject’s face, and the way it highlighted the eye closer to the camera. Because the eye had a lot of importance in this portrait, we decided to use this technique with Maxi Iglesias, who has these striking blue eyes.
In this case we used the Picolite with a snoot, and we placed the aforementioned strainer on a stand, between the light source and the subject, right where we needed it. The Picolite was the perfect head for this shot because we needed a really small light source to get sharp and defined shadows. Again, we worked with continuous light. The reason is we found out that it was easier to control these precise light patterns with continuous light than with a flash. We also had an over-head Octabox 75, very close to the model, a vertical strip as a backlight and a Octabox 75 for the background.
The next technique we used was light painting. We did a lot of tests during our experimentation phase, in order to see how to achieve the best results. We realized it was really tricky, because there were so many factors involved: exposure length, intensity of the different sources, speed of movements… After many, many tests we ended up with two versions of light painting we liked.
The first one involved using a fluorescent tube to create patterns around the model, and for that we needed a long exposition during which someone had to dance around the subject wielding the tube like a light-saber and waving it around in a complicated, dance-like pattern which gave the desired effect. The exposure lasted for 20 seconds, which was mainly light-saber dance and finally the tube was hidden and the flashes were triggered so we could freeze the model. We had a Octabox 150 as a main light and a Octabox 75 as a backlight, filtered with Steel blue. To make things even more complicated, we had an ND filter in front of the lens during the light-saber dance which was swiftly removed right before the flashes came in. The photograph was shot using a lens baby, and our brave subject was none other than Hugo Silva, who is not only a great actor but also proved to be very patient, collaborative and who managed to stand still with someone waving a light tube only inches away from his face.
The second version of the light painting technique we employed used a similar set-up, but instead of having a fluorescent tube as our “brush”, we used two cell phones with different colors on their screens. We did a longer exposure, 30 seconds, and in this case we started triggering the flashes without the model. Then the model stepped into the set, we danced around the model with the cell-phones, making sure we also lit his face and body, and finally we triggered the flashes one more time. For this photograph we had director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, who managed to give us the right pose and look while standing really still, in the dark, with someone waving cell-phones around his face. Quite admirable.
More photos soon!