Excite were back again today to shoot some plus size dresses aimed at the girl about town to wear on a night out. So, after shooting the catalog shots in the studio, we headed to a bar in central Leeds to get some impact shots of Jenna in the dresses. The first shot we did was the most difficult to set up as the lighting in the bar was very low key with bright flourescent purple/pink spotlights – looks great to the human eye but flash will always overpower and obliterate this kind of lighting. Sure enough the test shot had Jenna lit rather nicely but the rest of the room was just lit by flash and all the purple lighting and ambient light had disappeared. The way round this, is to base the exposure on the ambient light and then bring in the flash on the subject and this usually means a high ISO and low shutter speed combined with the flash – a technique I use a lot at weddings during the first dance. This combo captures all the ambient lighting but the trade off is shooting very slow shutter speeds which will amplify any camera shake and also introduce motion blur and ghosting on the subject. All the images in the bar were shot hand held at around 1/20 and ISO 800-1000 but with careful holding of the camera, we managed to get the shots! I used three 500w monoblocs for the lighting with additional gelled speedlights for the bar shots to put light behind the model.
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