The Girl with the Polka Dots
Light it! Shoot it! Process it! Welcome to our second installation of the 3inOne WorkshopÂ© series.
I had always wanted to do a shoot with a car, but not just any car. A car with a classic beauty. So when the owner of a 1959 Mercedes Benz agreed to let us use his car in a photoshoot, I designed a shoot called â€œClassic Beautyâ€ and headed out to the manâ€™s apartment building parking lot to make some images.
I wanted to shoot classics, so we used polka dots, strings of pearls, long gloves. The model was the perfect beauty for this shoot. Nook, a Swedish-Thai model, is statuesque and models H to T or “head to toe” in Tyra Banks‘ lingo. She can lower her eyelids just a tad and give you the most arrogant, sexy look one moment, and then soften her whole face the next.
On photoshoots, I always bring portable flash guns. In this case the shoot started at around 11 am after makeup. It was cloudy; this shot was taken in the rainy season in Bangkok when the clouds are thick and gray. I decided then to use only natural light with a couple of reflectors to enhance it and control where it was most intense.
This particular shot was taken inside the driverâ€™s side of the Merc with the door open. I had one assistant hold a large six-feet by four-feet reflector with the silver side toward the model. This reflector was position outside the windshield, angled at 45 degrees. This created the side lighting that gives us a three-dimensional effect in the image. The subtle highlights on the modelâ€™s arm is from the same source as the more pronounced highlight on the steering wheel.
I also placed a smaller 60-inch reflector with the silver side up, below camera, on the modelâ€™s lap. This light was to fill in the shadows on her face, and to give emphasis to her lips, the subject of the photo.
I used a very shallow depth of field, f/2.8, to give the shot a dreamy quality. I also shot it from slightly above, so that the subject of the shot (those lips!) would be framed by the modelâ€™s hands and the polka dot hat she wore.
Lastly, the light on the hat is from above, and thatâ€™s the sun diffused by the clouds on this rainy day.
So there you have it, an image shot with natural light.
Iâ€™ll be happy to answer questions you post in the comments.
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