I love being a University Photographer. It's really enjoyable and there's a huge variety in the subject matter I get to shoot. This particular shot is for an annual publication called the Viewbook, which is a mini-magazine that highlights some of our rockstar students, geared towards prospective students deciding on which college to attend.
Anyway, let's talk photography. For those of you who think this is some sort of Photoshopped shenanigans, here's the un-retouched version below:
Two light stands. That's it, that's all that's been removed from the image.
So here's the behind-the-scenes breakdown of the shoot:
I marked it up to visually explain what's going on here, but I'll also spell it out a little clearer, plus the rationale.
-Main light on our right (1/1 Power)
-Fill light on our left (1/2 Power)
-2 edge lights/kickers in the back (1/8 Power)
Our main light is twice as bright as our fill for obvious reasons. But why 1/1 Power? Well, because I've already bottomed-out my ISO (ISO 200 is the lowest the Fuji X-T1 can shoot and still write in RAW) and my aperture is f/5.6 (to ensure the seating in the background isn't completely blurred-out). Finally, the max flash sync speed is 1/180 sec on the X-T1, so I can't cut ambient light out by shooting at 1/250 or 1/500, the flashes won't appear. Yes, I've read about a HSS (High Speed Sync) flash hack, but I haven't experimented with it and wasn't about to do so on a shoot.
How about the quality of light? Well, you see those soft boxes there on the ground? I originally wanted them up, but because of the distance from the subject (required to get the amount of background I wanted) too much of my light was being eaten up. Oh, and the freaking wind was out of control. My boom stands fell three times when strong gusts came through because the soft boxes acted as sails. By removing them, it made it easier to keep them upright, plus get more light onto our subject. And guess what, it only made the quality of light better in my opinion. The harder light was a good thing. It's supposed to be edgy, this isn't your typical portrait, so it worked out really well.
So that's pretty much it. Here's an alternate image I also liked. The art director will ultimately decide which one runs and which one doesn't. I'll be satisfied with either one.