Fashion Shoot Anatomy And Post Production With Dave Piper [NSFW]

It had been a while since I had shot on a DSLR, most of last year I had shot on the Fuji X-Pro or a Pentax 645d. I was starting to shoot more and more video and thought that maybe it was time to pick up a 5dm2 or something similar. I even thought about the 5dm3 and was just about to buy one when my good friend Martin Gillman announced he was selling his D800, humm, I thought.. Yes.. Deal. I picked the Sigma 35mm Art lens and the 105mm macro (will be looking at the 50mm Sigma too). For video, I will be renting things like the Zeiss Compact zooms.

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Martin dropped the camera off and I just needed to shoot asap, I spoke to my lovely lady friend Ameila and we formed plan to shoot some lingerie with Penny Grimley on the make up. The styling was made up from a few places and things we could find quickly. (Fleur of England, Cristina Adami and Henry Hunt).

I am a big Fuji X-Pro fan, in fact I am a Fuji X-Photographer, I spent most of last year without a DSLR at all and I started to really miss one. The idea of such a powerful multi-use tool started to really make sense. From Leaf to Leica, d90 to 645d, I have shot with and worked with everything. Pretty much all of last year, I didn’t touch a DSLR and after picked up the D800 again…. I can totally say with full confidence, DSLR is always going to be the future. Such multi-use, powerful cameras will never die. There is a place in the market for Compact System Cameras (CSC), DSLRs & Medium formats (MF). I still don’t think we need FF CSC’s though, or CMOS Hassy’s. I like that each has it’s own area and use. Maybe DSLR is the new Bridge camera from hobby to work tool ?? Either way.. The lenses are getting better to cope with the sensors and the 35mm Sigma and the 55mm Zeiss make the D800 seem like a totally different camera to the one I took to the USA and Africa a couple of years ago ! It is good to see that the lens and camera manufacturers are putting time into getting good glass out there into the market. Thank you Fuji, Nikon, Sigma and Zeiss… Love you all !!

Gear Used

Lighting

Credits

  • Model : Ameila ‘Milly’ Raven
  • Make Up : Penny Grimley

Back Story

After a big show in the UK, I was lucky to have some lighting left over for a couple of day so, I thought it would be great to see how it all performs together in a beauty setting.

These lights are just amazing, powerful and I much prefer using power packs over monoblocks. I don’t really mind the cables as a trade off for the extra power that these heads give. The Pro Zoom heads have a function in which you can move the flash element forward or back to focus the light out of the head. This was particularly useful for when used with the Maxisoft beauty dish. The power from the 2400 pack was enough to let me shoot at iso 50 and really control every bit of light in the image while staying up at f16 or higher.

The mix of the light from the dish and deep octa was just perfect for this shoot as it gave me a nice blend of hard and soft light, perfect for a lingerie shoot in which Milly had to look playful and sexy too. Setting up the lights is super easy using the powerful modelling lights with the powerful internal fans keeping the heads cool during a long shoot.

Using super big dishes can be a luxury for many people, but they have so many different types of uses, with the grid on, they give a very sharp, hard light which lets you control placement very carefully, if you was to apply the diffusion cover and move the light away from the model, you can get a wider wrapping light. If you use the deflectors you can really change the light again and get a totally different light. In this instance, using the contrasty hard light was perfect for this shoot. I used the massive 130cm Rotalux softbox as my fill light.

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I set the lights to half power, metered the light for f16 and set the soft light twice as far away as the keylight which is my hard light source. This is pretty much my standard two light set up. I have them both set above the models eyeline and have them aimed downwards to give shadow under the eye lid and create shape across the jawline. The flatter your light to the subject, the stronger the make up should be to counter balance the flat light. Having the light up and above can help shape and contour shade for a natural looking shadow.

The post processing for these shots was very basic and simple. The hair and backgrounds are untouched and only the skin softened with blemishes removed to give that silky smooth ‘high-end’ look.

After running an action to set up the High Pass set up on the file, I used my new fave tool, the Mixer Brush to give a super smooth look to the skin then faded that back on to the base layer, I then used the gradient maps and exposure levels to create some added depth and colour across the whole image.

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While we had everything set up, we had a play with the mighty Elinchrom Ringflash too. For the that super strong editorial beauty look, the ringflash is still a go to tool. The same editing process was used to edit these images.

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About The Author

Dave Kai PapierDave Kai Piper is a UK based Fashion & Portrait Photographer. As well as being a Pentax Ambassador, Fuji X-Photographer, 3 legged thing & Lexar Ambassador, DKP works as a consultant though Ideas & Images for such companies as Future Publishing. DKP is also an Adobe Community Professional. Current projects include consulting on the UK’s flagship consumer and trade show, The Photography Show. You can follow Dave on his Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Nakleh says

    Great tutorial! May I ask how you made the timelapse? I’ve always wanted to make timelapse videos of my retouching but don’t know what speed to record at or how to out it together. Was it recorded in individual frames and spliced together like a traditional timelapse, or is it a video that is sped up? Any info you could share would be MOST appreciated!

    • says

      From the timer ontop of the video, it seems he just recorded a video and then sped it up. This is how i also did it as its the simplest process.

      You can use Fraps or Camtasia or a host of other recording software to record your desktop.

  2. Alexander Koval says

    Dave did a wonderful job with this images and explaining his light! So we sat down and recreated his setup in our software set.a.light 3D. We got pretty close except the post production. Have a look at the image and if you like download the 3D light diagram to get a better understanding of the dimensions and angels.

    Set-File: http://bit.ly/1hrUcpH

    Software Download: http://bit.ly/1fRCoH3

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