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Rooftop Model Shoot – Minus Sunset

For the full gallery click here.  (Requires Flash, sorry iPad users.)

This was supposed to be a sunset shoot on a gorgeous rooftop of a high-rise downtown.  We had the perfect angle to place the setting sun behind the models for dazzling backlight effect.

Everybody ready? Lights, camera, action…


Oh well. I’m on a roof with several beautiful models, so we’re going to make the most of it.  Switch to plan B.

Since we had a gray day I tried to create dramatic lighting and dramatic effects in post-processing to make the best of the situation.  Underexpose the sky (oops, missed that in some shots when my camera got bumped into Av mode instead of Manual. How did that happen?).  Add some vignette in processing and punch up the blacks, etc.

I’m not sure I really succeeded, in getting exactly what I wanted, but do I like some of the shots.  And more importantly, I learned some things from my mistakes.  Sometimes that is more useful than getting exactly what you planned for.

This was all lit with Speedlites. The techniques I’m experimenting with here are all part of the preparation for an upcoming course on “Advanced Off-Camera Flash.”

I’ll keep you posted on that.

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  1. AL FLORES says:

    Man, I just love your work. I just wish I could get my shots to be soooo sharp as yours. I’m not sure how to resolve this issue.
    I am in the process of purchasing a beauty dish. I notice you use it as well,, is that correct? In the pictures above, your images are just so crisp from head to toe. ANY IDEAS FOR YOU HELP. YOU’RE THE BEST


  2. Phil Steele says:

    Thanks for the kind words. Actually I don’t even own a beauty dish (although it’s on my wish list). Lighting in this set was done with several TTL speedlite flashes in Lumiquest mini softboxes. It’s a technique I plan to demonstrate in a future course on advanced off-camera flash.

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