Quite often, photographers are asked to duplicate an established lighting pattern set forth by previous work. Such was the case with my recent assignment for Market Sense.
I was contacted by a photo agency in New York to shoot this assignment. I was provide the following pdf showing me an earlier Ad shot by another photographer. Apparently, several of these Ad's are being shot around the county, I just filling the need here in the Denver area.
When I spoke with the client about the assignment, I asked if they wanted the same lighting pattern as the comp. I was told they wanted it lit in the same manner, perhaps another variation where the subject is lit from the other side. With that in mind, I ran a few tests over the weekend.
My thought was to place two Octa's on either side of the subject, one serving as a key and the other as fill if needed. I have two large Octa's, one is 5 foot and the other is a 7 foot Octa. I'll be placing the larger octa (the 7 foot one) furthest away from the subject. Because I need to allow for space for copy on the right side, I will need a larger light source coming from the right side to maintain the quality of light. Remember, the small the light source the harder the quality of light. In the diagram below you can see the planned set up, I say planned because I haven't yet shot this assignment. This is the sort of planning I go through before arriving on location, you need a plan of attack.
You can see in the diagram above that I plan on bring panels with me to use as gobo's, I want to be able to control the density of the gray background.
To be honest, I thought about bring my dynalite power pack and heads for this assignment. After my first test at home, I realized that I just had to much power. It may sound strange, but I use my 7 foot Octa with only one SB-800. You may think to yourself that a single SB-800 would not cover a 7 foot Octa. Just photograph the surface of your modifier to find out, you will find that the complete surface of the box is evenly illuminated.
OK, back from my shoot. The location they had us scheduled for was way to small for our set-up, so I got permission to set-up in a small lobby area near the service department. Here is the location and a few set-up shots.
As it turned out, I only used a gobo on the smaller Octa to prevent flare on the lens. I also added two smaller softboxes at the rear of the set. I used them as kickers or rim lights. I first shot using the larger Octa on the right first along with the smaller box on the left. I then turned those lights off and activated the others for the variation my client wanted. We had our subject for a total of 10 minutes. Here is a sample of the photos took, I have placed my subject in the comp that I was provided.