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Bring On The Lights... a lot of them


A few weeks back, I shot a project for a design firm that I've worked with for years. It's the same firm I shot the lab technician wearing the National Jewish Health coat.

I was asked to create a cover shot for the design firms new capabilities brochure. The cover shot was a series of words placed on 3 different pieces of orange Plexiglass. The first sheet of plexiglass had the word BRANDS, the second sheet ACTIVATING and the third BUILDING AND. The first sheet with the word BRANDS was sharp and the rest of the word progressively became more out of focus by use of controlling my depth of field. I controlled the depth of field (DOF) by moving the sheets backselecting an f-stop that produced the effect we where looking for. This was a difficult shot to produce and it required most of the lights I own. Here is a look at the set up.

Like the previous project, I was provide a Photoshop file which served as a frame for which the image I was shooting was to fit in.


Let's walk through the set up and how this all fits together. I used 2 background poles and one boom to suspend each sheet of plexi sheet from. This allowed me the added control of height and distance of each sheet. The background was a sheet of translucent material which I was able to project light through and allowed me to create a pattern or texture to the light.

I ended up using a total of 9 glass bricks in order to create enough pattern onto the background of the final image. This is what the pattern looked like from the front and in far more focus than in the final image. Kinda looks like fire to me.

We started out using a black cloth behind the camera position to block out unwanted reflection on the sheets of plexiglass. After looking at several test images, we realized we need some life put back into the image. We found that the reflections of lights behind the camera added just what we needed, almost. The reflection of lights in the upper right corner of the image are from the ceiling lights and the ones on the left just below and to the left of the word BRANDS were created with 2 SB-800's.

The lights on the ceiling where quite bright, I used neutral density gels to knock them down a bit. I had to do the same with the two SB-800's even though they were dialed down to 1/128 power. The SB's were not contributing to the exposure, their sole purpose was just to provide a reflection.


In order to get the SB-800's to fire, I used my SC-29 cord connected to my SU-800 command unit. I needed to do so because the strobes where positioned behind the camera.

The lighting on the final shot required 5 Dynalite heads (modeling lights only), one Dedo light, one Tota-light and 2 SB-800's. I was running out of lights as well as space in my basement studio. You can see the wall behind me has been stripped clean, most of that gear is being used.

Here are just a few more images of the production as well as the final image.