Hello, I’m excited to be a guest contributor to Bron Imaging’s blog and look forward to sharing some methods and thoughts on creating images with dramatic, stylized looks that are achieved first and foremost with lighting.
The clients I work with want high impact images that will get attention and pull the viewer in to examine the story within the frame, hopefully spending a little more time on these than on the endless bombardment of visuals that confront us everywhere we turn.
To achieve this an image has to look and feel different from the commercial norm, to have a sense of surprise and mystery but in a way that’s controlled and deliberate. Therefore, the work I do tends to have a lot of very precise lighting.
In a series of images I created for exhibition at Los Angeles Fashion Week, I wanted to create a sense of depth through light and shadow as well as guide the eye throughout the frame.
The process was very much one of sculpting with light. Here, light and shadow play as much a part of the composition as the models and set design. Each of the seven Bron Unilite heads had a very precise light shaper mounted – four had honeycomb grids on a P70 reflector, two were snoots, and the key light had a medium soft box with a grid. When using so many lights to create just the right accents of light, controlling spill becomes essential.
It’s also critical that once I determine the ratio that balances each head, the strobes fire consistently and recycle quickly – permitting me to forget about the equipment and place all of my attention on communicating with the model and composing the frame. I don’t want any of my attention being diverted to gear issues at this point.
Light is only interesting when contrasted with the absence of light. I love images that have pockets of shadow rolling throughout, enabling the glow of the actively lit areas to have clear definition and meaning.
In this collection, I wanted images where the light is as much a character in the scene as the subject.
–August Bradley www.AugustBradley.com