Model & MUA: Melissa Lori
Location: Miami Shores, FL
So currently I’m shooting a “personal series” which is an evening silhouette series in a pool with lots of fog/smoke. Melissa is a friend who I’m featuring in that series, so while we were shooting it I also took some typical “glamour” shots of her too-and this was one of those pictures.
I didn’t want to pump out that much light to keep a fairly shallow depth of field and to keep some sharpness in the lens I lit for f/2.8.
Key: Strobe with an 86” PLM umbrella with a diffusion sock placed fairly close to my camera just off to the left. Metered at f/2.8
Fill: 4’x6’ California Sunbounce on camera right just to slightly fill in the shadows. It was probably 10’ behind her so it was just barely filling in anything.
Rim lights: On camera left a strobe on the other side of the pool with a 11” Long Throw Reflector with a 30 degree grid and 1 stop CTS. Metered about a 1/2 stop below my key. Camera right an identical setup but with a cyan gel metered 1 stop under my key.
Backlights: Almost identical setups as my rim lights with no grids to light up a larger part of the background; but instead of CTS I used CTO for the left side, and 1 stop CTB for the right side. And metered between 3/4-1 stop under my key. Normally, I would put a light or two to illuminate beyond the pool to get a lot of depth, however on the other side of the pool/yard is a canal with a house on the other side of that in the background where they were having a party (at least I didn’t need to bring my own music). I didn’t want to inconvenience them more by flashing lights directly in their faces. I’m sure they were confused enough as it is by me having a naked girl enveloped in smoke for an hour during their shindig. So to get depth in my shot I chose to have the backlights feather the palm tree in the background to at least get something beyond the pool in the distance.
The smoke: Primarily I used dry ice scattered all throughout the pool. I did have a smoke machine far back off camera right but it was really windy (just after Hurricane Matthew) and the smoke machine only was good for literally 10 pictures until it dissipated. Lighting smoke is identical to rain-for it to show up best it has to be backlit. And I did add some some smoke in post in the foreground in the bottom of frame.
Post processing: Very typical editing-high frequency separation with dodge and burning. I did darken the background to not get the party in the background-but did leave the lights’ bokeh. And like I mentioned earlier I added a little bit of smoke in the foreground.