We filmed this clip the other day for Flip Clips (volume eight coming soon) and on playback I noticed its potential as a noteworthy photograph. After driving him to a successful job interview, Austin and I jammed to The Fall of Troy while heading back toward ASU campus to ride this fun curved ledge spot.
I decided I’d go all-in and use a classic three light setup. My key light (Lumedyne 200w Action Pack) was to the left and in front of the ledge @ f/11. My rim light (Paul C Buff Einstein 640 w/ 11″ reflector) was behind and to the right of the ledge, metered @ f/16. For fill I used a Canon 580EXII set @ 1/4 power to yield f/8, filling in any shadows created by the position of the key and rim.
At first I was thinking I’d shoot 50mm @ f/8 ISO 100 (my go-to these days) but upon further inspection, the 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm became the one. Only after setting up all the lights did I realize that the ambient was giving f/8 @ 1/250- the Arizona sun is much brighter than what I’m used to. In order to cut down on any motion blur that might arise from shooting at f/8, I decided that f/11 would be a better choice. I moved every flash in a little bit and re-metered and somewhat incredibly each one gave a perfect reading.
I gave Austin the nod and he started locking in the opp hanger right off the bat. It took him probably six or seven tries to lace this one (this is the make) from end to end with amazing balance at a low and locked-in speed. We probably should have filmed this one as well, as it was much cleaner than the one we filmed on Sunday, but such is life.
A few on-the-spot corrections: The initial choice of f/8. I should have realized that the sun was beaming (even though we were under shade, the background was super bright) or just have metered in-camera before deciding on that. It only took a couple minutes to move the lights around for more power, but sometimes those couple minutes are the difference between getting the shot and getting the boot. At first, the rim light was casting a shadow of that second post onto the ledge. I moved it a couple feet to camera left and got the shadow to land in front of the ledge. My the fill light was really close to being in-frame and the rim was almost spilling light into the lens but simply moving myself a foot or two to the right and cropping a bit in post solved those issues. And of course, since everything went so incredibly smooth, I realized right after wrapping that I had forgot to switch from JPEG to RAW on my camera, due to shooting a sequence the other night. But knowing that this was going straight to Instagram, I really didn’t care. Life is too good to really care about minimal shit like that. We are both still happy with the results and I hope that you are psyched on this information as well. Thanks for reading, keep shooting!