Elinchrom sponsored photographer Aaron Anderson has just started a promising new series on YouTube called “Behind The Image” which breaks down photoshoots for the viewer and includes lighting diagrams. The first video is called “Vintage Hotel” and the aim, “…was to create moody cinematic portraits that had an ambiguous story of loneliness and thought,” according to Aaron. He describes cinematic lighting, with a nod to portrait and fashion photographer Jeff Rojas for the explanation, as “lighting with a purpose,” seeking to emulate light that would normally be found in a scene.
The video doesn’t show footage from the shoot, instead Aaron spends time talking the viewer through the lighting decisions and reasoning behind them. He shows the images and their corresponding diagrams in Photoshop while he discusses them. The first photo sees the model lit with a red gelled 53″ Octa overhead, with an explanation on the placement in the diagram, and a blue gelled 21″x51″ strip box. A strobe with a blue gel was pointed toward the back of the room to add some more blue light in the scene, and a black flag was used to cut the spill and make sure the light from that strobe was only hitting where it was intended. The TV seen in this shot was a prop Aaron brought in to add a more vintage feel than would have been afforded by the one supplied by the hotel.
In this shot, Aaron lights the model with a blue gelled 20″x51″ strip box camera left hidden within the smaller room, and utilizes a bounced bare strobe with a full CTO Gel to contribute ambiance that looks like it wasn’t added to the sceneThe last image hints at a setting sun with a strobe outside the window using a full CTO Gel. The 53″ octa fills shadows with blue light using a gel. The haze in the room is created with a product used for photo and film productions, a can of spray haze.
Each video will get its own blog post going into even further detail about the shoot. He also has a selection of BTS videos on his site for your perusal, including one for this shoot. If you like this, also have a look at the tutorials section of Aaron’s site.