Steven Brokaw Photography

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Model Shoot - "Window Light"

Image from the shoot.  Picked up by Vogue Italia

Image from the shoot.  Picked up by Vogue Italia

I did a concept photo session last weekend in studio.  I recently saw an editorial fashion photo of a model standing in a poorly lit room against a wall.  The key light appeared to be a window.  The effect I liked was the shadows falling against the wall & the model from the window's blinds.  I couldn't tell if the effect was done in studio with lighting modifiers, in post or with a real window with mini blinds.  Either way I wanted to try something like this effect without copying it exactly.

My setup was simple.  Since this was primarily going to be a head shot and processed in B&W I mounted a 3'x4' piece of foam core onto a C-Stand using a clamp I secured to the C-Stand.  Easy.   I was using a single light.  For this shoot I simply mounted an Elinchrom Style RX1200 on a large Manfrotto super boom.  On the key light I mounted a standard 6" reflector and a 30 degree grid (Anthony held the grid in front of the reflector, because the grid is 8").

Next, I mounted a cheapo ($4) plastic mini blind set that I purchased to a smaller Manfrotto boom arm.  Again I simply used a large clamp that I attached to the boom arm.  I positioned the blind (partially open) about 1-2 feet away from the foam core at a 45 degree angle to the foam core.  I lined up the light about 1 foot away from the mini blind firing straight through.  I then had my model stand in front of the foam core / mini blind setup.

Here are some photos of the setup

Foam core on a C-Stand, mini blind on a boom arm, and the Elinchrom RX1200

Foam core on a C-Stand, mini blind on a boom arm, and the Elinchrom RX1200

The lighting setup

The lighting setup

When we were set I powered the light as low as it will go and tested the effect for about 10 minutes.  I hadn't checked if it was going to work before, it it was trial and error until I got the camera settings, distance from the foam core, light distance from the blind, overhead lights on or off set.  My camera settings were f/9, 1/160 & ISO 100.  I didn't meter my model, which come to think of it is not typical.  We got some really good effects and by opening & closing the blinds and moving the grid around we achieved some interesting shadowing effects.  The main issue I probably used the wrong light.  The RX1200 is definitely overkill.  I probably could have used my Alien Bee ring light which I can adjust the power to almost nothing.  

As you can see the light was bright

The Elinchrom Style RX1200 with a 30 degree grid and window blinds in front of it at lowest power.....

The Elinchrom Style RX1200 with a 30 degree grid and window blinds in front of it at lowest power.....

We had a fun time and only spent about 30 minutes with this look.  Simple setup.  I even put together a stop action video clip of the action.  Here you go

Freckles With Katherine

Typical Kit For A Model Shoot

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