Wednesday, 18 November 2009

'Strictly Come Dancing' Made Simple



Regular readers of this blog will by now be aware of one of my 'tricks'

Keeping it simple

I was recently commissioned to photograph Ali Bastion and Brian Fortuna of The hit BBC programme 'Strictly Come Dancing'

You maybe aware there has been quite a lot of speculation regarding them in the press

To be quite honest with you I could not care less if they are or not other than to say they were both absolutely charming, lovely people, when I mentioned to Brian that my daughter Georgie, aged 7, was a big fan he wrote her a message, completely unprompted.

We were, as usual working with very limited time.

So, it was a matter of turning in a simple but impressive shot with the very minimum of fuss

The big danger is trying to be too ambitious and simply 'drowning' in a ton of gear that may or may not be useful in the circumstances.

The biggest single leap forward one can make with your art is to........

STOP BUYING ANYMORE EQUIPMENT UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR EXISTING EQUIPMENT DOES AND THEN MASTERING IT!

For this shot I used one light, an Elinchrom 1200 style, but with one killer light modifier an Elinchrom Mini Spot



This is an accessory I seldom use but when I do, it is fantastic

A simple solution, giving me the look and feel of the dance floor with a minimum of fuss, and a ton of showbiz 'sparkle' to boot

I shot this with my Phase One P45+ 80mm lens 125th Sec at F9

So a one light solution to what could have been a fraught scenario

It is always good to have an idea just what you are going to use BEFORE the assignment

I have added the Black and White version which I actually prefer, I think

13 comments:

James said...

Interesting. The perfectly centered and circular shape of the light on the background suggests the light was close to the camera axis. The shadow of the dancer suggests the light was high camera left. I guess I'm not reading it quite right :)

Drew Gardner said...

Hi James


Indeed you called it right

The light was high and to the left

Look closely at the 'circle' of light and you will see it is not quite symmetrical, it is 'distorted' on the right hand side

Learning to 'read' light (deconstructing an image and working out exactly where the light/lights were positioned) is all part of the craft, and I recommend that other readers do what you have done

Cheers

Drew

52shotstothehead said...

I love your blog. Thanks for posting!

Evangeline
http://www.52shotstothehead.blogspot.com

Drew Gardner said...

Dear Evangeline

Thank you very much

I Love the submerged face in water shot. Self portrait right?

How did you do it?

Cheers

Drew

Gu said...

Many thanks for sharing, Drew.

Does mini spot produce much defined shadow edge than a snoot?

Also, to produce the circular shape of that size, how far was the light from subject?

Pol said...

Great photo, along with the clothing it really captures a showbiz /1950's feeling.

Drew Gardner said...

Hi Gu

Yes, the Mini Spot really does give you a much more defined edge, which gives it this 'look'

You can change the radius of the spot by adjusting the lens too

Cheers

Drew

Drew Gardner said...

Thanks for the compliment Pol

Cheers

Drew

Irene Jones said...

I love your style Drew, and especially your keep it simple approach. Thanks for posting! Hope you don't mind if I include your blog in a list of my favorites on my blog?

http://irenejonesphoto365.blogspot.com

Dave Keating Photography said...

Love this photo and its style Drew. Very simple, very effective, and fitting for the era depicted. A very good reminder that we don't always have to have complex lighting to creat a great photo. Thanks for the indepth behind the scenes look. Always appreciate it.

Regards,

Dave

Drew Gardner said...

Thank you Irene and Dave

I'm a simple soul at heart.....

And so is my lighting

Cheers

Drew

Niya said...

Interesting blog and post!!

Regards,
clipping path

Drew Gardner said...

Thank you Niya

More 'Strictly come dancing' to follow, this time a giant composite!

Cheers

Drew