Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bharatanatyam photo shoot

Over the weekend, I shot some photos of my daughter in her Bharatanatyam attire.  She was getting ready to perform and we didn't have much time for me to prep my studio.  So, I had to set something up quick and finish the shoot.  Thought I will share the setup as well as the technique I used.

Let's look at the results first:

Equipment used:
- Canon T4i with Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L lens
- Smith Victor PhotoFlood light with 3400K bulb
- Canon Speedlite 430 EX with a diffuser
- Black background cloth


The setup was simple.  A black background covering the back wall and the floor.  I positioned the PhotoFlood light to the right so it threw an orange light (3400K).  I positioned the Speedlite (in slave mode) on the left to throw a white light (5200K).  I don't have a mount for the flash, so, I fashioned a stand by mounting another Canon body on a tripod and attaching the flash onto it.  The camera was used mostly handheld. 

The reason for the above setup was to get an orange glow on the right side of the picture while illuminating the subject with white light from the left.  I tried the classic Rembrandt lighting (but not in its entirety).  The PhotoFlood does not have fine output control and hence I could not dial it down.  I was highly satisfied by the results of this quick setup. 

In reality, all you need is a dark background, an off camera flash and a camera.  Use the off camera flash on the left above the subject, while you shoot straight.  The light on the right can be from a window or a reflector to obtain a similar effect.

Overall, it was a nice experiment with minimal equipment.