Happy Summer Shooting!
I recently worked on a wonderful assignment shooting photographs to promote a new upscale seniors condo project located on the water, north of Boston. The main challenge with this project was that the complex has yet to be built. My job was to sell a development that didn't exist yet. How do you do this? You sell a life style. I had one scouting day and one shooting day to produce the photographs. The scouting day was spent with the client to determine locations and discuss concepts, create a timeline the shoot and work with a model agency to select models for the projects and shoot. Most of my work is editorial, this is not!
I shot 14 situations in a day using a total of 15 models. On a shoot like this, everything has to be scripted. There is only a limited amount of time for each situation and you try not to keep the models overtime. It is essential, you move quickly and your lightings has to be extremely mobile as well as produce the look of light you are after. I worked with a self contained 400WS Dynalite Baja strobe and a Chimera softbox. The combination is very portable, being hand held most of the time while giving me beautiful light with a fast recycling time. On those mid day shots, this combination is perfect for over powering hash summer light. ( you can also read on how to deal with harsh sunlight on my blog; Controlling the Sun!)
When mixing strobe and ambient light, I set my camera on manual and expose for "the element you cannot control" which was often the sky. I used the in-camera meter to determine my ambient reading and Sekonic 478R Light Meter to determine the strobe output. I could use the Sekonic to read the ambient light, I just didn't. I also used a polarizing filter to bring out the sky and an ND filter, to control my choice of Fstop.
Be spontaneous! We did not plan for a dog!
During the final shoot of the day, a cocktail party, we were after the feel of late afternoon light.
The problem here was the back of the house was in shade. To get the effect of warm light,
I used a Rosco full CTO (color temperature orange) filter over the two Baja strobes used to light the photograph. I used a 30 degree grid to control the light. The Rosco CTO filter is one of 26 filters in my "Rosco Location Lighting Kit by Rick Friedman"
For 1 day shooting, it is difficult to produce 14 situations and one has to be very efficient and move quickly. Know your equipment, and travel light. It's a lot of work, but a great way to spend a summer's day. I got to ride on a boat to celebrate a great shoot and work with wonderful people. Happy Summer Shooting!