Today was a great experience with Mezame Shashin-ka shooting the XF + Trichromatic Digital Back. Being a photographer that loves backlitted shot and ambient lighting, the XF had the great dynamic range and shadow recovery unseen in my other system Leica and Nikon. All shots are done without additional lighting support equipment or reflector.
The best function I love was also a simple one: the multi screen preview, showing the histogram, highlight burnout and image itself. This allow me to work to the cameras dynamic limit, something that doing on other cameras can be a slow process of switching screens. Theres red and pink to denote level of clipping. Really great stuff. The other thing is the AF system. It works on backlit situation. Something that can’t be said for many cameras today. And AF-R works too, though sometime I need to be a little patient and wait for the beep before firing off.
And no XF review is complete without a Detail zoom in. Rather then just doing it on screen, I printed it out on my printer in A2 and took a photo of the eye. Look whoes in there haha.
Thats all for my impression, had a great time with the system and Mez haha.
Another entry of behind the scenes. This is not a weekly thing, it just so happen that the shoots I been doing on consecutive weeks are great for article writing.
Brief summary of today shoot:
Shot with a leaf shutter camera
3 light setup
1 2′ octa for fill
1 2’x3′ soft box for highlight and rim light
1 reflector mounted light for back glow
Mist used for effects
Ragnarok online is a Korean MMORPG with the Rune Knight taking on a classic warrior class. Donning armor wielding a sword, a class that specialised in balanced defence and offence.
The way this shoot was lighted is very similar to the last post for Yuuki Konno. The key differences were that this shoot minimises the overall effects of ambient light. As such almost all light seen in the picture was generated artificially. The shoot was done from 830am to 1030am, how the ambient was killed to get the maximum amount of light produce was via a leaf shutter camera: the RX1.
Leaf shutter cameras are great as there are no limit to their sync rate. The limitation is the sync rate of the transmitter, in this case the Profoto Nikon TTL trigger, which goes up to 1/1200s. This kills the ambient light a whole lot as shown in the image above where only the rim light was firing. Notice how dark the ambient is even though it’s around 840am in the morning when it was shot.
1 B1 mounted with a zoom reflector behind the half closed fort door. This is to simulate the light leak out from a semi opened door, the door themselves acting as a large light shaping tool and adding to the mood.
1 B2 mounted with a 2’x3′ soft box with grid on a boom positioned top back of the subject. This was the rim light for the subject and gives a highlight on the hair. The additional function it has was to light the mist produced in the air for the glow and colours. The grid prevents unnecessary spill to the background doors and shadows.
1 B2 mounted with a 2′ octa soft box with grid. A Key light for the subject. The grid prevents reflection of the light from the back B! and controls the spill to retain the shadows.
With this shoot, every shot was done with the same shutter speed of 1/320 and lights at approximately 8 for the B1 and 6-7 for the B2 heads. The B1 and the top B2 2’x3′ soft box was gelled for the orange glow.
One note: Asians have a warmer skin complexion, as such orange gel for fill and key light is not needed unless you want a cool tone background.
Misting was done by the 2 assistants. As we do not have the third, shots with flipping was done by the same person that was misting.
The edits were done similarly to my last shoot of Yuuki Konno so do refer to it for more information.
Shaping light with available structures are interesting ways to create effect and mood, in this case the fort doors. However as much as this photos look cool, with every shoot, some thoughts must be done prior so that the right setup can be used and execution can be done smoothly to produce the shots at acceptable timing. Try not to think and experiment only on the shoot itself with the lights as this will tire the subject and consume a large amount of time. With that, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this article and do visit my FB page at ZerartulPeaktures!
This weekend I did a shoot for Chloe Miriee’s Yuuki Konno cosplay. The results are rather stunning even by my standards. This article will talk about how the effects were achieved which is quite standard throughout the entire photo set.
Yuuki is a character from sword art online, a MMORPG like game in the medieval times. A combat class that uses a sword, with quite a good amount of scene in forest and dungeons. A top notch swordsman with a ill fate at the end. I wanted to give her a more magical game like feeling with dramatic motion and emotions. More pics will be posted at my main site and FB page: ZerartulPeaktures
As said most pictures were shot and edited the same way. Summary of how this shoot was done and processed:
1 Boomed Grided light for rim and highlight
1 Grided light for fill
1 Reflector on Light for simulated sun (optional)
2 assistants for misting
1 assistant for wig throwing
Color process with Lightroom
Effects process with Photoshop
In a forest, normally with the canopy cover, you get streams of light coming in but on general its not really bright. I wanted it to look sunny even in a forest, like a canopy with a big opening.
1 B2 head boomed fitted with 60cm x 90cm Gridded Softbox on the top. slightly back of the subject. This creates a nice rim from the head to the shoulders and a burnt out effect on the hair to simulate light from the top. Outdoor shoots are suspected to winds so a light head such as B2 and modifiers from the OCF series are great. Make sure to always weigh down the boom and counter balance it well.
1 B2 head on the floor right side with a 60cm Gridded Octa. This is mainly a fill light for the face placed above the camera level. In the shot above, its above the subjects eye level. The purpose of the grid is to fill only the face with minimum spill to the surroundings.
1 B1 with reflector are used in some shots such as the one above. This is to simulate the sun. Shots that did not used it were due to good openings in the canopy with strong sunlight streaming in.
The light on the boom and the B1 with reflector both are meant to be back light to simulate flare or highlights generated by a low sun. In this shoot, they are fitted with 3/4 CTO gels to add extra warmth to the light. This was part of the reason why the front fill light must be gridded: it will other wise be reflecting the warm light from the front baffle onto the subject face which will be undesirable.
Effects and Color:
To obtain get the slightly magical effects of sparkles and mistiness, 2 assistants were tasked to spray mist into the air just slightly behind the subject. Mist however were easily affected by wind so the assistants need to constantly move.
Freezing the droplets of mist in the air rather then smeared, a faster shutter of 1/1000 was used. The lights were then fired with HSS. As this was a morning shoot, the flash itself could not freeze the motion of the droplets due to background lighting and a much faster shutter was needed. This is one of the situation where Profoto B1/B2 really works well with HSS.
The sense of motion was obtained by flicking the wig base on the direction of the motion that was to be achieved. The subject will also execute the movement and hold the point where the shot will be done to get a more natural posing.
Post processing was the final step. First with Lightroom, the greens were hued to the yellow for a more autumn look. Colors were corrected to get a soothing slightly dulled down look while exposure contrast was increased for the dramatic feel.
Lastly photoshop, to get the hazy feeling with the effects of brighter sun ray streaming down, a combination of Motion blur, Gaussian blur and masking was used. I wont cover on how to achieve them here as you can find video tutorials of them.
Photos and Final words:
As above, this are the outcomes of the shoot. I hope you enjoy my behind the scene on how the shots are done and do visit my FB page at ZerartulPeaktures to view my latest work or contact me.
Nikon 20mm F1.8
Sigma Art 50mm F1.8
Profoto B2 with 2 heads
Profoto 2′ X 3′ OCF Softbox with Grid
Profoto 2′ OCF Octa with Grid
Profoto Zoom Reflector
Jinbei M1 Mini Boom
2 Water spray with misting nozzle (those for watering plants)
Akatsuki no Yona was one of the more planned out shoot I had for sometime. Thanks to Sumi for this shoot together with all those that helped out. For the full album visit my page ZerartulPeaktures
Todays article will talk about the creation of the above image at the start of this post. The image is done using 3 lights. With a combination of 2 images for the spread of leaves.
A B2 head mounted on a boom acts as the simulated sun on the back. It’s mounted with a zoom reflector for a more controlled spill onto the back of the subject.
The light on the left acts as the key light for the subject. A B1 mounted with 2’x3′ box with a grid, it’s purpose is to light the subject like a hole in the forest. The grid prevents unnecessary spill.
The final light on the left as a fill. A B2 head mounted with a 2′ octa, it’s powered at around 2 stops lower then the key light. This is to soften the shadow on the dark side of the subject.
The helpers gather the dry leaves around the area and throws them in succession. Multiple shots are done with each throw to maximise the amount of leaves and their arrangement caught on the camera. This is a situation where a better light like the B1/B2 has an advantage. With a lot more capacity, they can be fired in rapid succession while still retaining the Color and exposure.
The images are combined together using photoshop. The images above are two shots straight out of Lightroom with the exact same setting. If you notice there’s almost no shift in Color and exposure which makes combining a Breeze.
Once the images are combined, all that’s left is touching up of image, removing the b2 generator from the image and final touches for the subject.
I will probably be posting more behind the scene shots in the future. Do follow them and my Facebook page @ ZerartulPeaktures