I have to admit - you can't beat natural light. There are certain times of day outside where the light is magical and works wonders when you're shooting fashion editorials. However the downside is that natural light is not consistent if you're shooting outside all day. There has to be a certain amount of control on jobs where clients are present, or when we are expected to deliver consistency in the flow of the images. Whether you're battling mid day sun or chasing golden hour (and all the time in-between) shooting with natural light can be a challenge.
I recently shot an editorial for Factice Magazine and wanted to re-create that soft light you often get from a window, or when you place your subject outside in the shade away from harsh sunlight.
I did some research on constant light and decided to try out the bron kobold DW 400 HMI. Why? It's daylight balanced and has a constant WB for consistency - perfect for replicating natural light. However, what really made that choice for me was the option to use my Octabox 150. The DW 400 has an attachment option to add a number of accessories (this doesn't work in anything about 400 due to the heat) so this further diffused the light and gave me much more control.
For this set - the light was facing the model straight on and was positioned about 5 feet away from her. For some of the portraits we placed the light a little closer, to help achieve detail in the textured background and to light the detail in the clothing.
Having consistency in the light meant we could play a little on set - we added interesting effects to the images by having our hairstylist Alexander Tome use a fan to add movement to the hair. I also placed a crystal in front of the lens in one of the images to add interesting color tones.
I'm going to be doing a number of experiments on future shoots by using the Octabox with strobes to achieve this and I hope to share with you all soon!
DW 400 lamp base
HMI F400.575.800 Electronic ballast unit
Bron 150 Octabox
Styling - Donald Hicks
Make Up - Misha Shahzada
Hair - Alexander Tome
Model - V at MC2 Models
Photo Assistant - Natalie Walsh
Retouching - Ashlee Gray Retouch