How To Get Studio Quality Lighting On A Moving Subject

Travis Tank needed to shoot a portrait of a bicyclist riding down the road. The average person would probably shoot this with natural light but Travis wanted to light his subject with a large, off camera light source. For this to happen Travis mounted Profoto lights to a vehicle. The video seems to have been shot on a cell phone but this video is still very informative.

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Jay Malone's picture

Cool...but since he had help there, wouldn't it have been just as easy to have someone hold it as opposed to all of the clamps, wood & wires?  Just curious...any advantage to mounting it?

Looks pretty sweet! interesting setup, requires a good crew to make this happen :) 

Softbox looked a little overkill but produced nice shots nonetheless...  End product is what's counts

Travis Tank's picture

Hey Guys,

The reason I mounted the light was so I could do moving photos instead of just stills. I wanted to get the subject in focus while motion was going on around him. In order to ride down the street and shoot at the same time someone couldnt have just held the light, it had to be mounted.

Travis Tank's picture

Also it was shot on a very old crappy jvc handicam, i have gotten a nicer video camera for my new bts vids.

I've seen so many umbrellas collapse in wind, I'm wondering if that was a problem as Travis drove around.

Travis Tank's picture

no it wasnt a big deal, the octobank is pretty sturdy and held up well. I think the golf kart rig was my biggest issue.

Rex Larsen's picture

Video was hard to watch, I gave up.

Har Rai Khalsa's picture

Really like the end results!

I did similar to this for a long boarding shoot. Mounted a continuous lighting 650 to the back of a Honda, I sat in the trunk, fun stuff. Looks a ton better if you can get the light far enough offboard.

Nice concept, but the premise of the video seems to be that it's a BTS about how one goes about shooting action with studio lighting.  The issue I see is that except for two shots in the middle of the video that were unsharp but appeared to have some effects from fill flash (studio-quality lighting), the images don't really give us the sense that "studio-quality lighting" was used to shoot action.  There are two static portraits (not action), and one other action still that appears to be lit solely by the sun, low in the sky.  Love to see some real effects from the studio flash, to the point that someone would see the images and ask "wow, was this shot in the studio and then the background was added later?"  Just don't get that effect from the still images presented, though I appreciate the effort that went into it.  I think a smaller softbox or softlight reflector, or, if you're going for a more contrasty look, Profoto's Magnum reflector, may have been better choices than such a big umbrella.  Just my 2 cents.

Carlos García's picture

Mmm I wonder if Travis could help us out with the inverter he used to power the flash head... =)

Travis Tank's picture

Sure Carlos, The inverter was a vagabond inverter just rigged through the car and golf cart batteries. And as for Marc I understand your point. This was done a while back and was more of a test trial for something I had never done before and if I did it again I would probably do it differently. Appreciate all the comments though, positive or negative.