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:
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! 🙂