Here's five lighting setups from simple to complex.
Photo By Laura Barisonzi
A Location Pro Takes The Studio Outside
Perhaps one of the most daunting lighting challenges is the location shoot. You lug along lights, must find or bring power sources, and then seamlessly integrate ambient and artificial light sources.
For that reason, New York City pro Laura Barisonzi (www.barisonzi.com) originally wanted to go with natural light and reflectors for this portrait of a professional fitness model. “It would have been much easier than setting up lights and getting a power source for them,” says the sports and lifestyle specialist.
But spotty clouds rolled in and the ambient light fluctuated between direct and diffused sun.
The lighting strategy she ultimately used—two strobes overpowering the sun—let her continue shooting regardless of whether the sun was shining directly on her subject or not.
“For me, the trick to good location lighting is having enough power,” she says. With batteries, she doesn’t like the long recycle waits between pops. “And I end up rushing because I’m afraid the charge will die. So I power my strobes with a generator.”
For a neater set, she also likes working wirelessly with PocketWizard flash triggers.
To get this sunlit look, your lights must be high, hard, bright and aimed down at approximately 45 degrees. Lights perched that high can easily blow over, so when the wind picked up, Barisonzi weighted her stands with sand bags and had an assistant spot the higher stand on the left.
Laura Barisonzi lit this shot with two AlienBees B1600 strobes ($360, direct, each) and one GS1 grid Spot ($36, direct). The strobes were powered by a Honda EU3200i generator. Her camera was a Nikon D3 with 24–70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens.