01. I lit Melanie with a single Cactus Speedlight aimed through leaves of a tree 5 metres away from the niche. Fuji X-T1 35mm lens at f/4 and 1/180th second with ISO 200.
My last street workshop of 2015 took me to Copenhagen. A capital city with balance and charm. A place where extremes are rare and the climate is similar to the UK. Blaise my PA booked Melanie from a local agency to model for us and here is a selection of the images we shot. Enjoy…
Model: Melanie Beckendorff-Leavens
Cameras: Fuji X-T1 with 16mm, 35mm, 56mm and 90mm lenses plus Fuji X100T with its 23mm lens.
Lighting: A pair of Cactus RF60 Speedlights with a V6 tranceiver.
02. I fell in love with niches last month at the Vatican museum in Rome. I love the way light and shadows wrap around a niche. Melanie steals the show with her classic looks lifted into the shot by the crisp hard light of a distant Cactus RF60 Speedlight. Notice how the hard light creates shadow under Melanie’s cheekbones but is shallow enough to light into her eyes. The shadow under Melanie’s chin shows the contrast ratio to be about three stops. I love the way Melanie’s arms and hands mirror the arch at the top of the niche framing her face in the middle of the composition. Exposure as above. The Cactus RF60 was set at 105mm and ¼ power.
Sunlight was not an option for my shoot in Copenhagen because of the Stratocumulus cloud cover so we made our own sunlight.
03. A splash of flash made this courtyard come alive. The single lamp gave me the motivation for the contrast. Fuji X-T1, 16mm at f/2.8 for 1/100th second. ISO 200. The Cactus RF60 was set high on a Jupiter stand at 105mm zoom and 1/8th power.
04. We found a stairway and I used the light from a window for this soft profile shot of Melanie. Fuji X-T1 with the 56mm lens at f/1.2 using 1/250th second and ISO 1000.
05. Fuji X-T1 at f/1.2 for 1/100th second ISO 800 My classic tunnel lighting, natural light set up was used here to highlight Melanie’s jaw line and to provide a soft key light.
06. The shot on the left has a perfect lead in diagonal, striking uprights, forced composition and is just how I like my images to look. When it all comes together like this it ticks all my boxes. I used a Cactus RF 60 to light Melanie from an ‘upstage’ position. Fuji X-T1 with the new XF90mm lens at f/4.5 using 1/180th second and ISO 200. The shot on the right was a natural light grab shot as we sheltered from the wind. Fuji X-T1, 90mm lens at f/2 using 1/250th second at ISO 320.
07. This shot of Melanie has more of a moment and that classic lighting style that the bare faced Cactus RF60 gives from the upstage position.
08. We took shelter in a covered area supported by an avenue of columns. These shots were taken using the new 90mm f/2 lens on the X-T1. I used f/2.5 at 1/250th second and ISO 640.
09. These shots taken with the 56mm lens at f/1.2 really shows the three dimensional quality that this optic delivers for mid shots. f/1.2 at 1/1000th second using ISO 200 in natural light.
10. The shiny metal panels on the side of this modern office building made a funky background for some more fashionable shots of Melanie. I used flash on camera for this punchy shot.
11. The colour in the shot on the left is completely real. The orange lime wash paint on this building gave us a perfect texture to shoot against. A single Speedlight through a metal framework provided the lighting. The shot on the right was taken with the Fuji X100T with a white balance set to 3400k. I placed the full CTO on the foreground RF60 Speedlight and a full CTB on the distant RF60 Speedlight rigged around the corner at 1/1 and pointing back at the building structure. 1/125th f/3.6 at ISO 200.
That was a small selection of our shots from the day. A greater emphasis was put on working with Speedlights than would have been the case in bright sunny weather. The Cactus V6 and RF60 combination never missed a beat even with 7 of us shooting. All the camera kit and Speedlights was carried in my Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag and we carried the stands separately.
If you like these shots and you would like to participate on a Lovegrove creative shoot as a delegate I suggest you request to join our Lovegrove Creative group on Facebook.