In my last shoot with the makeup dept, all did not go well. It was my intention therefore to ensure this shoot went smoothly and under my control. To this aim I arranged for us (myself and Arthur Trombetta) to use a separate room well away from the chaos of the make up room. Early access meant we could prepare and equip the room to our satisfaction and also take more time setting everything up.
Our first ‘hiccup’ was the background support stands. The stand section locks were loose, caused by constant use, so a frantic search was made for a socket wrench. Thanks to a student from animation with a fab tool kit we managed to re tighten the locks.
I chose a white backdrop as the brief was to supply a set of photographs that the tutors could use to assess the work and a set that the students could work on to use for their portfolios. A clean white background would ensure both parts of the brief could be met.
Lighting was created with 4 x studio flash guns. As the Uni only had 2 x soft boxes we had to use two heads on simple reflectors to illuminate the drop. We used the two soft boxes to illuminate the model. Putting the soft boxes close together ensured an even light across the model thus recording maximum detail. The camera view was between the soft boxes. Marking the floor so that the models stood in exactly the same spot meant we could ensure consistent results.
We arranged the lighting levels so that the rear backdrop lights were two stops brighter than the model lights. This went someway to ensuring the background was white in the photographs, although the small reflectors available did mean that some light spills did not blend and small grey areas were still present. A bigger light spill would eliminate this.
The models were illuminated well but the lower parts of the body were under exposed by a half stop as again the light spill was not sufficient to cover the whole body. A reflector was used occasionally to counter this if detail was required in the shot.
With the third member of our team Alice acting as front of house and ensuring all release forms were signed and access to the studio was restricted to one artist and model at a time, the shoot went like clockwork. A visit from the Vice chancellor was the icing on the cake!
The lighting set up is shown below.