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Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-14-2009, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've been approached by a calendar publisher to shoot models on motorcycles. Having never done this, I would appreciate any tips you have on lighting, depth of field, lens focal length, distance from model, etc. The shoot is Tuesday afternoon in the showroom of a Harley dealer. The model is a pro and the publisher will be there to set up the poses. I intend to shoot on a tripod and use bare Nikon SBs - one 900 and four 800s in a line about 8' from the model, 45 degrees down and parallel to the bike, and one 600 from behind for hair and rim light effects. I'm using bare lights to create specular highlights from the chrome and paint job. Am I on the right track?

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Doc
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-14-2009, 05:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No, you are not.

Chrome reflects everything it sees. If you want to see a bunch of hot spots, keep doing what you are doing. If you want to see smooth highlights you need super large light sources whose reflection will fill the pipes and paint job. Large light sources have translucent "hot spots".

Usually this is a large open sky to give the great highlights or cove or large silks in a studio. Go get a magazine with great pics and dissect them.

Probably need to charge more for the job to get what you need. You can rent what you don't own.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, its you. Please don't respond to my posts, Poser. How's the portfolio coming along?

Doc
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Last edited by DocSmith; 02-14-2009 at 07:02 PM..
 
Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You're on the right track for lighting the model but remember, it's the motorcycle they're selling, the model is just sexy "window dressing." So you also need to consider the motorcycle in your lighting plans. What KGPhoto said is all true, depending on whether you're going after specular or diffuse lighting reflecting off the chrome and paint.

Here's a tip: Use a large strip box, lay it on the floor, horizontally and parallel to the bike, and put something under it to tilt it up towards the bike. If you have a C-Stand with a "Turtle" base, you can go that with it. But lying it on the floor gets that strip even lower. This will will provide highlights the entire length of the bike without effecting your lighting on the model much, other than fill providing it isn't set to deliver more light than your mainlight. If you wanna go all specular with those highlights, remove the baffle ((or part of it) on the strip box or move the box further away from the bike and increase the power so it still reads.

I wrote about the versatility of the strip box, including using it horzontally on the floor, on my blog a few months back. Here's the link. It's NSFW.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-15-2009, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They are both giving you great advice! Since you are shooting in a showroom I would also suggest color gels for you background lights so the background clutter will not be to distracting.

Click for larger version
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Chrome also reflect any and all darks in the area. You may also want restrict what is light and or dark with 4x8 sheets of silver reflective insulation you buy at Lowes/ Home Depot. A big challenge will be controlling any and all reflections on location vs a studio.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-15-2009, 04:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSmith View Post
Oh, its you. Please don't respond to my posts, Poser. How's the portfolio coming along? Doc
And yet two "names" said I was right. "Posers" can be more talented than you! How does that make you feel?

Actually, you shouldn't feel anything. You don't know me and made a snap judgment that was false. Next time, just listen to the info and see if it makes sense and can help you. You really don't come to photo forums for lessons in manners.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-15-2009, 06:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Free member, empty portfolio. Don't bother responding.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-16-2009, 03:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Free member, empty portfolio. Don't bother responding.
Ouch! I'm a scenes and things shooter (hence the empty port on GG) that studies how to shoot people. This place is a great resource for learning; Kgphoto and Jimmy D are spot on with their advice though. I hope to see the results of your efforts.
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Re: Motorcycle Calendar Lighting, etc.
Old 02-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Do the best with what you've got.

If you absolutely, positively have to shoot in the showroom, get thee a couple of great big white sheets to hang from stands and/or the ceiling at an angle, and bounce your lights off of it/them. You'll maintain some specular quality and even out hotspots from the multiple, closely placed light sources.


Not awesome by any stretch, but you can see the type of reflections that you'll get (with two lights).
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