Lighting the Superhumans

Discussion in 'Lighting Tutorials' started by MichaelSewell, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell

    This was an interesting day. I got to work with a long standing friend. Chris Dunkerley of Moo Creations. It was the basis for a design concept for his client, MobileTron. The remit was straightforward. “Give me something special!” (I seem to hear that a lot nowadays).

    Well, to be fair, Chris did go on to explain he wanted his clients to look superhuman, as the images would be used as a basis for some rather clever manipulation later. Of course, I wasn’t just going to give Chris a few bland images so a graphics bod could steal the spotlight. Oh no, definitely not!

    I decided to go all out, and definitely give him something special, that may just make him reassess as to how much tinkering manipulation would actually be required.

    The above image was actually the last of the day, but is one of my favourites, as this is the realisation of the group shot that Chris had in mind, but didn’t expect to get.

    I used three Godox Witstros. A 360Ws in front (just camera left), high with a bare beauty dish and set to full power. I also had two Witstro 180 either side of the group, again both were at full power and firing through standard reflectors.

    Besides the Witstros, there were a number of speedlights dotted about the cars behind the group, illuminating the interiors of the cars, or engine bays etc. This was intentionally subtle, so as not to distract from the group.

    I used the Lencarta Mach 1n triggers, which allowed me to use a shutter speed of 1/1000thsec without any curtain shadow on the image. This is basically “riding the tail” of the flash, and is known as a “fudge” ;) 

    Godox have similar triggers, namely the Cell II series, which can do the same. There is also another “fudge” that will allow Olympus users to do something similar. [ Olympus OM-D E-M10 HSS / FP with Godox V850 ]

    1/1000thsec ISO200 f6.3


    This second image is the first of the day, and you can see where I was going with the superhuman thing. Besides the main subject, I was mindful of the fact I wanted the background to be equally interesting. A lot of the background is simply picked out with various speedlights tucked away in the interesting bits of the cars.

    The main light was provided by a 600Ws battery powered location flash, utilising a single head and firing through a 120cm folding Octa. Output was set to ¼, with the octa positioned about head height, and camera right. The rim light showing on our subject’s right side (frame left), is provided by a Witstro 360, firing through a standard reflector. The accent on her face and her left side is also provided by another Witstro 360, firing through a standard reflector. The background lighting was provided by numerous speedlights dotted around the wrecks. It was all co-ordinated by the Godox wireless system.

    1/250thsec ISO200 f7.1


    This final image was a little trickier, as I’d chosen a very tight spot for a subject. The rim light on his right side (frame left) is provided by an Witstro 360 through a beauty dish at 1/8thpower. The accent on his left side was provided by several speedlights tucked in adjacent stacked vehicles out of frame.

    The main light was again provided by the 600Ws location flash kit, firing through the same 120cm folding Octa, at about ¼ power output.

    1/250thsec ISO200 f8
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
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