Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tidal Wave of Light

About a week before Christmas I attended a Joe McNally lighting workshop in Houston. Most of his techniques I had seen before through his blog or other workshops -- pretty simple stuff, light modifiers, crafting light for specific faces that he'd pull out of the audience, and things like that. But one thing he did jumped out at me, and I decided to try it a few weeks later when I was taking Alyssa's photo. He called it a "tidal wave of light." The lighting setup is really interesting.You place your subject opposite a large white backdrop and shoot flashes into V-flats in front -- so that they bounce once into the V-flats and then again off the large white light source, engulfing your subject in soft light. The really interesting part is that you (the photographer) and the V-flats become silhouetted in the wall of light coming forward, which is captured in the subject's catchlight in the eye. Anyway, interesting stuff. I took it a bit further and shot really shallow depth of field for this shot of Alyssa. Finals were: 1/60 sec at f/1.8, 85mm. If you're interested, the lighting diagram is here. And below is a 100% crop of Alyssa's eye -- showing the whole light setup. That's me silhouetted in the pupil.

1 comment:

  1. This is really cool way to light someone. I do wished that you had made it only a head shot so that this aspect of the photo would have been more evident.