Walking on Clouds ! Light setup and explanation.


Few days ago I’ve started shooting a project using only few words for inspiration. The theme was “Walking on Clouds”. So using that headline I had to create the concept and present it visually. The problem was that I expected a smoke machine and a bag full of white feathers but none of them arrived 😦 So there I was alone with my creativity and didn’t allow anything to discourage me. Usually I hate my plans to be spoiled by someone or something which is making me go for it without half of the props that I need and any assistants. At least the model came charged with a lot of enthusiasm and energy willing to put some effort in the right direction. Well…spending few sad minutes disappointed by the irresponsibility of others I quickly banished the unhappy thoughts and started setting up my light for the upcoming hours of shooting.

1. Setting up the light for the project.

The good thing about doing a personal project is that you don’t have any constrain and you can do literally anything you like. The other good thing is that you have enough time to plan it and actually make it happen.
Lets start with the light. Three YN460 flashes are used here, two 40×50 cm softboxes , left and right from the subjects position and one 91 cm shoothru umbrella a little bit overhead and almost 2 meters away from the subject for fill. The exact configuration is shown on the diagram below.

I did tons of photos with the lady using different outfits in order to create different moods and a mixture of fashion and some sort of artistic expression. Mentioning the word “artistic” for me it means that I have a freedom to put whatever light I want beyond the typical boundaries of fashion lighting etiquette. I could do it with one light, tow lights or more but this time I wanted the light that way trying to create some dramatic look trying not to imitate anyone. Unfortunately this is very hard because the hot water is already invented and I wont show nothing that hasn’t been done already 🙂 I needed darker image with low level of exposure.

2. Dealing with props when there is no props !

As I mentioned before, there was no props because they weren’t delivered :(. I had the model in my home studio already and have her waiting for me to decide how to go forward without any assistance. The next problem that I had was the lack of long enough background so I used the wallpapers on the walls of my studio putting few torn pieces on the floor thus I can remove them easy later in post. Such things can happen more often that you want so be prepared to think for other ways to accomplish your task. When you plan a project try to plan it along with the post production. We accept that you should know what you want as a end result.

3. The post production.

A friend of mine asked me once…..What if we don’t have Photoshop? How we are supposed to accomplish whatever project we have ? I said …..Fortunately you have Gimp ! The answer was that Gimp is a program that have not enough tools for retouch and color correction and etc. Well….:) This is not quite true actually it is not true at all. You must know that almost every software that you use is capable of high end output if you know how to work with it.

To put additional challenging element I used Gimp to do stuff that I usually do with Photoshop. I wanted to show those people that the obstacles exist only in their brains and complaining all the time of not having enough money for software and expensive lights is another way to say that they cant do it because they are used to watch and repeat only and not experimenting at all.

I used some brushes from Obsidiandawn.com

You can apply the same steps in Photoshop as well !

I will post a short video on how this is made soon.

4. The final result !

Expect the other images from the same series soon !

Author: Oggy Dimitrov

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