Last week I had this nice assignment: on-location shoot for Vieler International LP (www.vieler.com). The company was established in 1913, now 3rd generation 100% family-owned business, specializing in architectural hardware out of stainless steel and aluminum: high quality door and window hardware, shop fitting systems and much more. When I’ve checked the company website (after a brief conversation with the Andre Vieler, the owner of the business), I was surprised by the beauty and style of the products they manufacture.
The challenge was to match the company colors and style of the images withing quoted 3 hours of work in the warehouse, having the shooting date in 4 days from the first contact with the customer. After I’ve received a company’s brochure, I started to look for a right-color background paper: best color match was absolutely necessary for the project. I was lucky to found right color (that was ultramarine) 107” paper roll for a background in Showcase Atlanta.
Packed with half of the studio ( full list of equipment), I drove just inside the warehouse through a loading dock (saved us about 10 minutes). Aluminum frame with the glass inside was mounted on a wooden board about 6 feet wide, painted black. After a little consideration I’ve decided to use a big chunk of the background paper to cover the board, so we disassembled the frame, covered board with the paper and screwed frame back to it. Andre Vieler, the owner, was helping us, working like an undercover boss :-)
I was done with setup withing 30 minutes: 2 large softboxes on front and side ( main and fill light), small narrow box on behind, two 20 degree spot honeycomb for a background and laptop connected to a camera, ready for a remote capture. Four strobes was connected to a remote controller, camera was mounted on a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and 405 geared head.
I do not use (never did) a flash meter (why?), but this time I measured light once at the middle of a frame: f13. That was only the time I needed a meter, the rest exposure evaluation was done on a laptop’s screen.
Also, Andre and 2 other guys were looking at setup preparation and now was looking at laptop’s screen, ready to see the first image, so I wanted to impress them: even the first test image came exactly as I wanted. As usual, I’ve got correct ratio between all light sources without using this “necessary if you a pro” tool :
During the shoot I was moving lights depending on a required shooting angle and frame position. This is one of them:
Equipment and shooting spec:
- Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III DSLR
- Bogen 055 XPROB Tripod with 405 geared head
- Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch
- Canon Right Angle Finder
- Canon 24-70 f2.8 L and Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS L lenses
Lighting and light modifiers and accessories:
- Paul C. Buff Lighting: 640, 3x320WS, 1x160WS
- 1x Paul C.Buff Silver 64” 16 Rib Parabolic Umbrella
- 1x FSB3060Foldable Giant Softbox
- 2x 20 honeycomb grid mounted on standard Paul C. Buff reflector
- 1x 6”x36” strip box, unknown brand:-)
- LG4X 4 channel remote control for flash units
- CyberSync™ CST Trigger Transmitter and CyberSync™ AC Powered Trigger Receiver
- Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2 as a remote capture solution for tethered shooting
All shots were done with: shutter speed 1/250 sec, F12-F16, depending of the DOF required, ISO 100, Custom WB 5600K
I’ve completed the shoot in 2 hours ( to put setup together and pack everything back took about 40 and 20minutes respectively). Total 90 images were produced, 48 of them ended up in a proofs gallery, 5 was selected by a client. The only thing we did in post-production, beside of regular cleaning and adjusting, was a digitally added diagonal reflection on a glass, to make it visible:
For this one was used a multiple images, combined during a post production:
Things I have learn:
That was my first time I’ve used Paul C’ Buff PLM Umbrella and giant fordable softbox, got both of them just a few days before the shoot. Very nice light modifiers overall, however…
Softbox is quite heavy and really deep when mounted on a flash unit, I felt like this is a max for White-Lightning flash locking knob, I had to push it really tight to secure in a horizontal position. Also, light loss was several f-stops, a little more then I was expected: 640WS unit was running at 100% power, with about f14 light output 5 feet away. Looks like I have to have at least 2 or 3 units with 3200Ws or higher, to work on assignments like this.
Hope this was interesting.