A few weeks ago I had a great shoot with Alyson & Lydia on the Beach. We managed to get some great shots. As it was getting darker near the end of the shoot, it allowed for some creative used of strobe lights. Here is how I lit some of those shots.
Below you can find series of shots put together that show the effect of the various lights in use. There is not an exact science in the way this was done as it happened very quickly. It was at the end of the shoot, it was getting dark and the rain was coming. I think from placing the first light to taking the last frame was about 5 minutes…. fast and furious. But once you know your gear, know the look you want you can easily place your lights and set them to the rough power that you need. After a few test shots and a tweaking of the power and maybe colour correction gel on them, you are good to go.
Note that Alyson wrapped in a towel. As these were test shots, there was no need for the model to getting cold while waiting for the photographer to sort out their lights. When you are in cold conditions, or shooting swimware or lingerie in general and especially in public places, its a good idea to allow the model to keep their robe on for as long as possible.
Note that the position of the lights may not have been the location for the final shots. I more than likely would have moved them a little after the initial test shots you see above. The flashes used were a mix of Nikon SB600 and YN-460 flashes triggered with poverty wizards…. all my old gear. The flashes, except the background one had some grade of a CTO gel on them and the WB was set to daylight.
Once you know your gear and your light, you can quickly and easily create shots that are similar. As this was a fast and furious shoot before the rain came, I did not bother using the light meter to set it all up. Starting out at 1\4 power is always a safe bet and then you can power up or down after chimping the first test shot.
Having 3 lights give you great options for different types of shots. You can have a Key light, a fill light and a background light. You can mix it up to having one key light and two background / rim lights either. You have to try out various light setups to see which you prefer.
Having extra lights also means more work in moving them, setting their power etc. As you can see in the last setup picture, you can see Cameron holding the the Orbis Ring Flash for me, which I was using as a key light. Having assistants on a shoot is great. The less things that you have to worry about means the more time you spend thinking about getting the shot.
Thats all for now. If you have any questions, you can ask them below.