Steven Brokaw Photography

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I'm Not Always In A Studio

Nikon D600, AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 at 70mm, 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 1250 

Nikon D600, AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 at 70mm, 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 1250 

I know, I know, most of my blog posts are about studio or location lighting setups.  Well, why not do another one!  This time I was part of a team that did a photo-shoot in a gym on the NE side of Indianapolis called Anytime Fitness.  The shoot was for an fashion / lifestyle magazine.  The shoot was under mixed, but controlled lighting.  Because I was able to controlling the lighting with the addition of studio strobes I was able to lock camera settings in.

For giggles, between on of the "looks" I asked Laura Jansen, our model for the shoot from NYC, if we could do a couple of "casual" photos.  Essentially, shoot using only the light in the gym without using the studio strobes.  I had Laura lean against one of the mirrored walls so I could photograph her at an angle (so I wouldn't appear in the photos).  The challenge was the lighting in the gym was EXTREMELY mixed.  There was window light, florescent lighting, incandescent lighting, and reflected window lighting (several walls were mirrored).  I also didn't want to use my studio strobes.  Yikes.   

Bottomline, I decided not to mess around with the lighting.  The room & especially against the mirrored wall had adequate lighting.  So I simply positioned Laura and set me camera to Aperture Priority (believe it or not I even considered P mode!).  I almost always use manual mode in the studio.  Not this time.  I wanted to open things up, so I cranked my aperture to f/2.8 using an AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G lens.  With the aperture set I adjusted ISO to a moderately high setting of 1250.  I didn't mind getting a little noise because these images were going to be processed in B&W and my Nikon D600 has pretty good high ISO behavior.  With aperture priority, my aperture set wide & high ISO I let my camera set the shutter speed.  Since Laura was standing still I figured I could allow my shutter speed go as low as 1/50 of a second with no drama.  

I was surprised even with the fair amount of direct and reflected light some photos had a shutter speed as low as 1/30 of a second.  However with a stationary subject this wasn't an issue.  It was fun to do these shots with the freedom of not metering the lights, not setting my camera to manual and just shooting.  I wish I had done more than 1 look this way.  So bottom-line, even with studio type looks, you don't need studio lighting.  

Nikon D600 with AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 set at 66mm, 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 1250

Nikon D600 with AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 set at 66mm, 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 1250

Creative team for the shoot:

  • Model | Laura Jansen
  • MUA | Danelle French
  • Hair | Rebecca Zirkle
  • Fashion & Styling | Rachel Ledesma & Tinita Fuller
  • Location | Anytime Fitness, Indianapolis

Photoshoot with Emily Gregory - Reflected Fill Light

Photoshoot For Submission - The Lighting