In the dark


This is from a shoot I did that was made possible by few things.

1) A great subject. Vivian is a great gal with a stunning look. She was superb to work with and was perfect for the modern urban look we were going for.

2) PocketWizards. This was done with two strobes but one was very much behind me and there was no easy way to trigger them with my beloved Nikon CLS system. The Wizards make the "you gotta be kidding me!" totally possible.

3) Willingness to risk. While I was setting this up, in an alley just steps away from a very busy street where lots of evening revelers going to and from clubs I heard one person with a camera say something like "that won't work. It's too dark" Ha! I used the darkness as a low fill light and let my two strobes do all the work.

The setup is pretty simple: I had an SB-800 up about 10 feet on a stand to my left and behind me about ten feet using a Zoot Snoot to create the spot of light on her. I had another SB-800 low and parallel to the wall giving separation to her legs. That was handled by my Voice Activate Light stand named Kim. I used my workhorse Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6 on my Nikon D700 set to ISO 200 for 1/8th of a sec. Like this:
Vivian diagram
I triggered the strobes with my PocketWizards. Once we wound Vivian up good and tight the rest was a total snap. I really think that it's so much easier to light things when you don't have to crazily overpower the ambient. These strobe in the dark situations are to me far more interesting than just finding a way to overpower the sun. Besides, without a day lit scene to work with you can do more with lights and make the photo look "natural" because in dark situations we are use to seeing dim light being reflected by all kinds of surfaces and light sources. In this case I made the light on the stand similar to a street light and the low light the reflection of something else.

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