Five minutes, two lights and a mood

I was walking back from doing a shoot with my friend Aimee when we walked past this alley. It was a cool and lightly overcast day but I saw something other than the boring scene before me. I saw something rather film noir-ish. I didn't have any lightstands with be but hey – that doesn't stop us now does it? There was a light near the doorway that I spotted that was hanging flopily by a wire and found that I could wedge the strobe under it and positioned it so as to essentially emulate the light from the light it was attached to. I then found a plastic chair behind the dumpster down the way and took one of the large rubber bands that I keep on each of my SB-800's to keep gels attached and rubber banded the strobe to the chair. I positioned it low and to camera right to act as a fill light and cast the tall shadows that so often appear in noir films. I wanted the high light on Aimee to be a bit hot and since she was wearing black and her hair is very dark that wouldn't blow her totally out as the dark coat and hair would keep her face framed and bring out her eyes. I saw the scene in B&W so I wasn't worried about the colors, just the tones. I had her set into the doorway and clutch her coat and look over her shoulder as if in fear of who was coming down the alley. I dialed the low strobe back 2 stops, under exposed the ambient by 3 stops and did the whole thing in about 7 frames.


Technicals: Nikon D700 ISO 200 daylight WB. Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 @ f/5.6, 1/250th. Two Nikon SB-800's controled by D700's built in flash as a commander.

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