[portfolio: vamos.com.sg email: foocheechang@gmail.com phone: +65 9622 9024 twitter: foocheechang]

freni promo shoot + dinner

l-r: shi hui, tze, lide, walter, liz. check out the details and the props!

did a really fun photoshoot for some friends a couple of days ago to make some pictures to promote their group in the upcoming wkwsci orientation camp next week. it was a nice get-together at sarah’s place (with the super cool old-world-looking basmement!) for dinner followed by the shoot.

since the theme of this year’s camp has a mafia-ish feel to it, we wanted to do something in the same grain – thus the choices of costumes and location that that you see. before i move into the technical stuff, just want to thank yudi for being an awesome assistant (always brings great insights and ideas to the shoots), sarah for being a wonderful host and supplying the food and location, and of course, the cast – tze, lide, shi hui and walter for being so fun and sporting and a pleasure to work with.

for the first photo on top, we had a speedlight close to camera right set to bounce light off the white ceiling for general fill. since there were a couple of available light sources (the lamp lighting shi hui and a spotlight on the ceiling lighting liz), we wanted to incorporate those into the setup and achieved that by setting a slower shutter speed to allow them to “burn in”. the main light was a CTO-gelled (for warmth) speedlight with omnibounce attached and pointed straight down from the ceiling to simulate a bare bulb. we flagged the side pointed at the wall to minimise ugly specular highlights from forming.

since the lamp was rather strong, there was a noticeable light falloff from left to right before we corrected that with a speedlight (low and right of camera) fired into a relector to match the brightness of the left. i then had to do quite a bit of selective colour-correction in photoshop to match the different colour temperatures of the various light sources.

for the set of images that you see above, we set up a speedlight bounced off a reflective umbrella right of the lamp, high and aimed at the subject to make it seem as though the lamp was actually the light source (it would have been too harsh a light if we were to use it). we had a reflector out of frame on the left to lift the shadows a little. that was it, simple setup.

i then wanted to try a low-key portrait with a warm light as the main and a cool light as the kicker. turned the camera’s white balance setting to tungsten to get a bluish tone (for the kicker light) and gelling the main light orange for the warmth.  the shutter speed was set near maximum sync-speed to remove all the ambient light (turning the background pure black). 2 light sources for this – a speedlight, gelled orange, bounced off a reflective umbrella right and just out of frame and another speedlight grid-spotted to control the spill, left of frame. got the following:

for the fun of it, i also made a “movie poster” version by combining the 5 pictures above in photoshop and bumping up the contrast and stripping a bit of the colour for the edgy look.

and of course, i had to get my portrait of sarah. another one for the collection!

thanks for reading! hope this was informative.

for more posts on my photography, click here.


4 responses

  1. for some reason these pictures remind of the “Godfather” movies Chinese-style, of course. :)i love how the light (or the absence of it) contributes to the brooding but nuanced mood. kudos!

    Thursday July 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  2. thanks for looking and the kudos! cheers!

    Thursday July 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

  3. jinyong

    but i lose count of the no. of lights u used. was it 3?

    Friday July 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm

  4. hey, yeah 3 speedlights were used for the first pic. we also used 2 existing light sources already in the room – the lamp on the left and a spotlight from the ceiling.

    Friday July 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm

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