A couple of years ago I got the opportunity shoot in a local cinema’s luxury screening room. As testament to my recent post about when working for free works I shot some images of the cinema foyer while it was bustling for the management and in return my “payment” was a days access when it was quiet. No money, but a no brainier!
On to the image.
Quite a simple lighting setup here, just 2 Elinchom Quadra heads with standard reflectors and 30 degree grids. One firing directly at Jen, the other at the seats further down along the row.
Looking at the EXIF data, you can see I was at ISO320 and down to 1/50th for my shutter speed the let some ambient light in to the shadows. My aperture was at f8 for no reason other than that’s what power my lights were set at from the last set up and we didn’t have long before the next film showing!
This shot was taken back in 2011 and (fortunately!) I’ve learnt a lot since then. I didn’t notice at the time, but now when I look at this image all I can see is the wooden table from the seat behind sticking out of Jen’s head.
It would have been so easy to correct in camera. I could have ducked slightly to hide it behind the seat next to Jen, I could have moved to the right slightly to hide it behind her head or I could have even angled my lights down to keep the next row in darkness.
If you have followed me on Facebook or Twitter, or been a reader of this blog for a while, you’ll have seenJenbefore. Last week we finally got the chance to work together properly on a Hollywood glamour-themed shoot in a local cinema.
Once I had the location arranged it was obvious a mix Film Noir and classic Hollywood glamour was the way to go so I started researching. Google Images came up with the classic portraits of Dietrich and Harlow while Flick and 500px gave some examples with a modern twist. A quick flick through those images on my iPad over a coffee gave Jen a clear idea of what I had in mind and gave me a last minute refresher of the look I was going for.
As usual, I started simple. Jen in a long black dress with one light. (OK, this image is from slightly later in the set so there are 2 lights in play here). The key light is a grid spot, high camera right aim at Jen’s face. The second is a speedlight tucked away on the floor to camera left to thrown a bit of light on the black dress and Jen’s hair to lift her off the dark background.
A quick wardrobe change while I span the lights 90 degrees resulted in this. Hard, gridded light from an Elinchrom Quadra on Jen again from high camera left and some low fill to add some details to her legs from a speedlight camera right. Then to create the spotlight effect on the red velvet above her, another gridded Quadra firing straight ahead form high above camera.
Another wardrobe and location change resulted in this image. Moving away from the hard, Hollywood glamour lighting to my Deep Octa softbox in beauty dish mode. It’s positioned camera right and feathered off the background to keep the wallpaper dark and make it match Jen’s hat and the stripes in the jacket. There’s a speedlight getting in on the action again – low camera left, behind the chair adding a little kick to separate the dark suit from the background.
When presented with the chance to shoot in a luxury screening room you take it, even if it means going off the plan and shooting something a bit more lifestyle. Jen’s bottomless suitcase had something suitable so we set up this shot. On gridded Quadra lighting Jen and a second, added after a few tests, to light the seats further along the row.
On the way in to the screening room we walked down this corridor and I noticed the spot lights raking down the stripped, grey wallpaper. I used the gridded Quadra again here, dialled down as low as it would go so as not to over power the lights and gelled CTO to match the colour temperature.
Enjoy the rest of the images in the gallery at the end of the post.
I’ve also put together a behind the scenes video for those who want to see a bit more. This is my first foray into video and Final Cut Pro X editing so I’d love to hear what you think.