The other week, inspired by Tim Wallace's shows on Kelby Training, I thought I'd have a punt at shooting a Range Rover Sport with some small flash and a newly purchased strip box. It's about 5' x 1' and perfect for this kind of work, however my lil' lights ain't.
Incidentally if you haven't seen any of Tim's work, I highly suggest you do - it's fantastic. He's here - www.ambientlife.co.uk.
On the day I found a window to do the detail work, typically it was bright and sunny. I think my meter read F22 at 1/60, so in order to over power the ambient light and minimise background distractions I had to bump my shutter a couple of stops to 1/250. Even then it wasn't quite all the way there but that was the smallest aperture my glass had. It meant I was going to have to push the limits of my lights and get a little creative. I discovered, as I'd thought may be the case, that one little SB900 on it's own wasn't going to cut the mustard. I shoe-horned another inside the softbox, ratched them both up to full power and ate through about 4 or 5 sets of batteries constantly tripping the thermal cut out on them both.
I persisted (I had several sets of spare batteries with me), and finally managed to get the shots I was looking for. I learnt several things though:-
- Modelling lights would be really handy.
- A set of Profotos or Elinchrom lights have surged their way to the top of my "must purchase when next feeling flush" list.
- Sculpting the light on a car really is an art all in it's own right - and I'm going to do more, lots more - it was fun :-)
Incidentally, the wider shots were done on a separate day, clearly!
I've some more wheels to shoot next week, so I'm going to rent a set of Elinchroms from the Flash Centre in Leeds and see how I get on with them, unless anyone has any going spare? ;-)