Following on from the recent ‘Engagement / Pre Wedding Shoot’ with Mark & Samantha I thought I’d post a few of the shots here on the blog along with an explanation of the lighting technique and settings used on my Nikon D3, so here goes:
Samantha against Pillar
For anyone who knows Windsor, this shot was taken at the Civic Hall in Thames Street. This is at the front entrance where there is a covered area with concrete pillars and three open sides allowing in beautiful ambient light. For this portrait I set the D3 into Aperture Priority Mode at f/4.0 on my 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikon lens for a shallow depth of field with an iso of 400. This gave a decent enough shutter speed to hand hold and allow for a good quality file. To give a little more light onto Samantha’s face I just added 1 stop of Exposure Compensation.
Mark on Bench
This particular shot required the use of a Voice Activated Light Stand or V.A.L. as they are commonly known, which in this case was Samantha. Mark was sat on a concrete bench against the church but unfortunately the sun was shining through the trees quite strongly giving lots of specular lighting. To soften this I gave Samantha a 1 stop Lastolite Tri Grip Diffuser which she held up between the sun and Mark. Mark was then lit with an SB800 camera right which was fired into a reflective umbrella which I had ‘closed’ down’. By this I mean that rather than having the umbrella completely open which would have thrown light all over the place, I let it close which then narrowed down the spill of light. Ofcourse this could have been done using a Lastolite Ezy Box but this was an Engagement / Pre Wedding Shoot so minimum kit was the order of the day.
Settings for the camera were iso 200, 80mm, f/4.0, 1/250 sec and the SB800 flash head was on 1/2 power. The SB800 was triggered using the Nikon CLS which called for a second SB800 on the camera hotshoe set to Master.
Mark’s Profile Shot
This final shot of Mark was taken in a recessed part of the church wall with three walled sides and one side open. It was in quite a dark, shaded area of the grounds with light being blocked out by a thick canopy of tree branches. To light Mark I set up the remote SB800 and reflective umbrella camera left; this time with the umbrella being fully open to allow much more spill of light. I was looking to achieve a more ‘moody’ feel to the picture so feathered the light off Mark a little by turning the umbrella away from the camera; this reduced the spill of light onto Mark and gave a few more shadows.
Camera settings: iso 200, 35mm, f/4.0, 1/250sec with the Remote SB800 at 1/4 power, again fired using the Nikon CLS.
So, nice and simple with minimum kit: Nikon D3, 2 x SB800’s, Reflective Umbrella & Stand, Lastolite Tri Grip Diffuser and a couple of Lastolite Tri Grip Reflectors.