Posts tagged as:

Nikon D700

Behind-the-scenes-CEO-portrait-on-location-using-one-light

In my ongoing project of shrinking my equipment bag for quick portraits on location, I have now reached a milestone. This time I just had to pack one Speedlight SB-910, one black/white umbrella, a Lastolite TriFlip collapsible reflector and two light stands. Plus the connectors and clamps needed to attach them.

I usually bring two Profoto D1 or one AcuteB 600R for assignments like this, but as this was inside a building and no sun to battle, bringing just enough to get the work done felt like a good idea. And it was.

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lighting setup diagram - 2-in-1 group and portrait, layers

This is, without bragging too much, my smartest lighting setup by far.

Or so far. It is a combination of things I have learned when struggling with making the standard group shot more easy to manage and one of my standard portrait setups I use in the studio as well as on location.

This is lighting in layers, where each layer is a working setup for individual portraits/headshots and smaller group shots, respectively. All you need the four lights, but you could do it with only three if you skip the rim light.

This is how it worked, and looked…

Nikon-D800_first-impressions

After a week with my new Nikon D800, I thought I might share some of the things I have noticed and some thoughts on this fantastic piece of equipment. But all is not only positive, even if I really like to have modern technology in my hands again.

I have been using my D700 almost every day for a couple of years now, so getting used to something new is not done overnight. When I upgraded my camera last time, it was from a D2X with DX-sensor to the FX-sensor in the D700.

A big step for me, not to mention the bigger display and everything else that felt so much more modern at that time. This time, it feels more like very much more of the same, but in a good way, mostly.

More thoughts after a week with my D800…

Portrait on location, reception desk with two lights, Profoto 5-foot Octa. Photographer Stefan Tell

Taking portraits on location with studio lights is something that is 90% setup, 9% small talk and around 1% pressing the shutter. Working in Sweden, I usually bring a couple of lights to every shoot, unless it is a regular assignment for articles in a magazine when natural light feels more appropriate.

The above portrait was an assignment from one of my clients where they wanted a nice picture with the man in a suit standing in their office. I had been there before, so I knew the layout pretty well. Which meant that I only packed two Profoto D1, one 5-foot softbox octa and a couple of light stands, and a Chimera reflector panel.

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Profoto Umbrella XL Silver x2. Studio Portrait. Photographer Stefan Tell

My latest investments in light modifiers are two Profoto Umbrella XL, silver. I also bought two Front Diffusers, but haven’t had the time to test them yet.

2x-Umbrella-XL-silver_Studio_Portrait_Lighting_SetupI have been looking for an easy way to set up simple portraits on-location without having to bring too much heavy equipment, but still be able to get good, big light that I can control. For that, I usually bring softboxes and/or diffusion panels together with a Profoto AcuteB 600R or my Profoto D1 (if they have electrical outlets).

The weight of the monoblocs or the battery generator is nothing I can reduce (until Profoto figures out how to cut the AcuteB in half), but the other bag would be nice to make both smaller and lighter. Many assignments would be easy to do with just two lights, two stands and two umbrellas. But small umbrellas are not that fun, I think.

Studio test of two Umbrella XL…