She had not cancelled and it paid off

In another article (Thank you for cancelling our photoshoot ) I told the true story of a photoshoot my model cancelled on me at the last minute. For those who may think this is a common practice, I’d like to set the record straight. Not only she (my beautiful model Megan) had never done that before and swore on her youth and beauty she wwouldnever do it again, but I must admit it is very rare when someone cancels on me. Maybe do i surround myself with only good and beautiful souls, maybe my clients pay me so much they would not dare loosing their deposit or maybe, as my ego would put it, magic happens during my shoots and it would be unthinkable to miss it. I let you guess which argument I prefer it’d be.

In order to illustrate and share some of the magic with you, let me tell you the story of our latest shoot.

It all started with a a plan to shoot in the valley of the Roslyn chapel ( made famous by the Da Vinci Code) and capturing something romantic, lit my the moon light which obviously meant we were going there just before midday. It was a Saturday and meant to be rather sunny but with some wind which was not to bother us, so we had thought given we were to be sheltered by the trees and the surrounding hills. Once on location, the trees were swinging hard to the rhythm of the Scottish wind and making it clear to to us we had to adapt as there was no way we could use the softboxes safely.

Megan is standing in front of an old mill in Roslyn Glen near Edinburgh Scotland

Megan is standing in front of an old mill in Roslyn Glen near Edinburgh Scotland

We found a stream arch and I thought it was a good spot with limited wind.

Megan under a stone bridge

Megan under a stone bridge

The first thing was to set the light:

  • 1 Yongnuo speedlight
  • flash with the Rogue 3-1 Flash Grid mounted on it.(I will do a review of that grid)
  • Yungnuo flash radio trigger
  • my LED Aputure panel

The set up look like that:

The light setup

light setup

Basically we have the Flash above the ditch on the left side pointing downwards onto Megan. I added my LED panel simply to add a little bit of light under the arch to lit the stonewall behind the model. I was standing above the ditch on the left side capturing the scene from above (same level as the flash but opposite side).

artistic portrait of young Scottish model Megan in a forest

artistic portrait of young Scottish model Megan in a forest

Once the light was metered and we found the right pose, it was time for Megan to bravely remove her shoes and her jacket and pretend to be wandering around at night, only lit by the moon:

After that shot we wrapped things up ready to go to our next location to shoot a series of videos on: The Shutter in Flash Photography (shown in a Live Shoot), The ISO in Flash Photography (shown in a Live Shoot),The Aperture in Flash Photography (shown in a Live Shoot).

As we were about to leave the glen, I noticed two ruins with walls very close to each other, just enough to squeeze a model through. I use the same setting as the shot before, meaning the speedlight flash with the grid pointing directly at my model, the LED panel behind her to lit the stonewalls in the background and a final prop, her scarf, which i placed on her head. Why on her head? Well creativity has sometimes no logical justification. I personally find the result rather compelling. Would not you agree?

portrait of young Scottish model Megan wearing a veil to accentuate her eyes

portrait of young Scottish model Megan wearing a veil to accentuate her eyes

Once obtained, we wrapped things up again, and headed to our next location, stopping along the way just to get a change of clothes and a pizza from the Costco counter.

Our final location for the day was the tunnel near Colington (South west suburb of Edinburgh) where we were to shoot the videos for the Tom Migot Photography Youtube channel on Flash photography.

I am sure you have seen the sample shots made to illustrate the tutorial but did you know we actually captured some real shots as well with the same setup as in the video:

An other light setup

new light setup

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

portrait of young Scottish model Megan against wall with graffitis

The resulting photographs are a great testimony that a simple setup can help you create magic:

This concluded our pretty long day where we faced some rain, strong wind and cold temperature until late in the evening. Was it worth not cancelling this shoot? I will let you the judge of that but as far as i am concerned it was a pretty darn good day.

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