Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mladenka Sunset Sunrise

As one star sets... another rises.

After shooting over 2000 frames with Mladenka over two shoots, I can confidently say that you'll be seeing more of this girl... and I don't mean here on my blog.

The "Sunset, Sunrise" metaphor is created by two disparate subjects. One a gorgeous girl, the other an SB-800 with an orange gel simulating the sun. Stretching myself, I wanted to shoot into the light and create some flaring in the frame. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure how things would turn out. You can't really predict how the light will flare and whether or not the flares will appear in the wrong places like in the face and what not. What you can do of course is shoot a lot of frames at different angles and hope the one of them is useable.

So you could say, I got lucky.

Balancing the power of the backlight with enough main/front light is important otherwise, you'll get this washed out look over the entire frame. I wish I could say I thought of that beforehand but luckily I was able to remove most of that blurriness in Photoshop. The downside to making the main light too bright is that you no longer get that overpowering sensation from the backlight which was something we were trying to achieve in this set.

The main light was an SB-800 in an Apollo Westcott 28" softbox from upper camera left. An SB-800 on a stand was placed to the front right acting as a rim light and another SB-800 (the one you can see) was gelled orange to simulate the sun and act as another backlight.

Lots of processing on this one. Well, actually no more than I usually do but definitely of greater intensity. I think I'll dedicate another post specifically to my retouching style which is starting to become apparent in these recent uploads. Given the original image, I do think that this one came out rather well and I'm pleased with it, highlights and all. I chose this image primarily because of the obvious highlights from the cheekbones as this made the picture rather easy to process. Truthfully I was inspired to push my highlights after seeing a picture of the star from the Legally Blonde Musical on several banners on Hollywood Blvd. yesterday (on my way to see Fiddler on the Roof). After coming home I studied some more pictures with obvious highlights and tried my hand at it today...

Strobist info: SB-800 in Apollo Westcott 28" softbox from camera upper right. One SB-800 (or AB800) from camera front left as a kicker/rim light. One SB-800 with orange gel from camera front right (acting as the sun). Black background. Triggered with Cactus V4.

Camera info: Nikon D3, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D, 1/160th, f/10, ISO200

Model/Makeup: Mladenka Grgic

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