A hot sweaty day in March (yes… March… This is Miami); The Shireen’s Favorite Things crew made the jaunt from Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale for a photoshoot at the man-cave of quirky metallurgist /welder / engineer, Marlowe Buelvas.
Marlowe is the creator of Rusted Jalopy, a small but fascinating space lurking unassumingly inside a Florida warehouse.
If it’s made of metal, Marlo can fix it, or better yet, make something awesome from it.
As soon as you enter the workshop you are met with sculptures and trinkets of all kinds. Unique lamps, welded works of art, retro posters and classic cars… This was going to be an awesome place to shoot!
Shireen got herself spruced up, whilst I unpacked my gear.
Now, I once read a quote that went something like; “If you think you need three lights, you need one… If you think you need two lights, you need one… If you think you need one light, you’re correct”. I live by this. ‘One’ is my magic number when it comes to lighting for photography. Multiple setups are very difficult to manage in a fast paced shooting environment (which these always are). Having to meter, reset, change the angle etc etc of two or three lights is a pain. And if your model decides to take a step to her left or right, you have to start all over. On this occasion, however, there was so much texture and character, I knew I would have to step up my light count.
What? My setups consisted of:
- A key light (Profoto B1 with a 5ft gridded Octabox).
- A rim light (Einstein E640 with a long throw reflector)
- And a spot light for details (another Einstein E640 with a 10 degree grid attached).
(“Why Profoto and Alien Bees?”, I hear you ask. 1. Profoto is F***ing expensive and as I mentioned above, I usually only use one at a time. 2. I love my Einsteins, had them for years and I can use them perfectly in combination with the B1 by just switching on the slave sensor function).
- The 5ft Octa with grid provided a large but directional light source. Minimal spill and lots of contrast. This allowed me to keep the backgrounds dark and moody.
- The rim light with the long throw reflector is a small light source so can be easily hidden and the efficient power boosting properties of the reflector meant I could place it far far away from the subjects.
- The second E640 with grid was to add a very specific splash of light onto whatever was the focus of the shot at that time.
The four setups below show how I used all of this flashy goodness…
Quick tip: This one is from many bad experiences… Buy yourself a spare Profoto B1 battery!! When it dies, there’s no option to plug your B1 in to an outlet. Aka, shoot is over until you find a way to charge the battery. I always have my Paul Buff Vagabond Mini Lithium batteries with me. Quite awesomely, you can charge the B1 from those packs. Sounds dumb, but it works in a pinch.