Yanik's Photo School

Shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge – Lighting Tutorial

As most of you know, my friend Martin and I went to visit our good buddy and fellow pro photographer Joey Lawrence in New York city not long ago. He needed our help choosing rooftop furniture for his new pad so we were happy to fly down and give him a hand. 😉 Hehehehe. Ok, maybe not, even though we did go to Ikea and helped out. It also goes without saying that we took out our cameras a few times in NYC. 🙂

But the most fun I had was doing this improvised shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge. We basically took turns shooting each other once everything was set up. Before I get into the lighting details, here’s a list of the equipment we used:


Nikon D3
Nikkor 12-24mm lens (bad ass lens!)
4 x SB-800s
4 x Pocket wizards
1 shoot through umbrella
2 x Manfroto clamps with ball heads

Since Joey shoots Canon (we still love you Joey!) and Martin and I had all the lights, we used his D3.

We set up 2 SB-800s on the Manfroto clamps and secured them to the bridge rail on camera right at around 30 degrees behind the model. We would have liked the lights to be higher by around 2 feet but we were limited t the rail’s hight.  The sun was acting as a backlight on camera left. We taped the other 2 SB-800s together and secured one on an umbrella clamp and secured the umbrella.


Now, we wanted the sky to be as dark as possible which is pretty difficult to do when the sun is your backlight so we did what we could…. cranked up our 4 SB-800s to full bad ass power! At full power, we were able to bring our aperture down to f16 at 1/125 sec and ISO 100.  Also important to note is how close the lights are to the model. The diagram is pretty accurate. The speedlights had to be that close to compete with the sun.

You’re probably wondering why we used Pocket Wizards and not another Sb-800 on camera to trigger the flashes. The answer is simple. The sun was so bright that we didn’t want to chance missfires from the CLS system. In any other circumstance we probably would have taken my D300  and used the built-in flash in commander mode to trigger the strobes.

All right here are the final shots!

All you need are 4 speelights, the sun and a cool place to shoot! 🙂

20 responses on "Shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge - Lighting Tutorial"

  1. Tutorial on the post processing??????? PLEASE??????

  2. Hey Yanik,
    Me again. When are you going to post a tutorial on the post processing of these pics?

  3. Hi Yanik,

    Awesome tutorial and I love the photos, my favorite is the 1st one

    I’m also wondering what you did for the post on these as well, I love the gritty look of these, will there be a tutorial on this?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  4. Did you ever post a tutorial on the Post Processing you did on these photos?

  5. Yanik,
    those are awesome pictures from the Brooklyn bridge. love the hand poses and the suit up.

  6. Love these shots! Great tut!

  7. I enjoy checking in with your blog and really dig these shots, middle one especially. And if that’s really you in the bottom image, may I sujggest an eye patch to complete the sinister look! 🙂

  8. Awesome shots, Yanik, you look Russian mafia in your portrait. Nice use of Topaz, I would hazard to guess too!

  9. I think he “forgot” to say the photos were post-processed with Topaz Adjust.

  10. Definitely nice drama and attitude. The second one especially works compositionally with the cables.

  11. By the way faithful YPS readers, the cool dude in the third photo is in fact Mr. YPS in person. Yeah, I knew you’d like that info! 🙂 Cheers!

  12. Great tutorial Yanik, and a great Idea for a shoot… but what I really want to know is how you got the awesum gritty urban look to the images in post!!!

  13. Profile photo of Yanik

    Thanks for your comments guys! It’s a good idea to show you how I did this in post. I’ll write a post on it soon…. just finishing up a 5 day shoot in Albany. Will be heading home on Saturday so I’ll have it up within the next few weeks. 🙂

  14. Whoa! Was anything done in post??

  15. Can you do a tutorial on the pp for these images? Very cool shots.

  16. Yanik – are these images directly from the camera or did you do some post-processing on them? All three images have an HDR look to them, which is why I am inquiring.

  17. Thanks for sharing your tips on how you shot the pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge. Very cool…

  18. Great shots, your diagram doesn’t show it clearly, but you had two flashes firing into the umbrella, right?

    Any chance of a tutorial on that bad ass post processing you’ve done on those shots?

  19. The shots are absolutely amazing Yanik

  20. I love your work and your tutorials!
    And these photos are Amazing Yanik!
    What have you done in photoshop? can we see an original to appreciate your work?

    Thanks to be always here to teach us how to work!

    Davide
    My Portfolios

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