Biking in the pouring rain? Naw, head to the studio.
I have a wonderful relationship with an oral surgery practice in Austin. One of the campaigns I do for them is a monthly, "meet the doctor" print ad. I interview the doctor and find out what their interests are, outside of the practice, and then I photograph them in a way that reflects that passion. It's amazing how wide ranging their interests are. From competitive ski jumpers to ranching and rodeo the range of ads has been wonderful fun.
For a recent ad we (the doctor and I) decided that we'd photograph him on his bike. He doesn't long distance rides all over central Texas. The problem came in the form of a fast approaching deadline and a weeklong forecast of rain and cold. We changed gears and decided to shoot indoors.
This is a typical studio shot of a person against a white background, with a sky stripped into the background, courtesy of PhotoShop CS5. The aspect that makes this different for me was the use of large and small LED panels as our light sources.
The main light to the left of the frame was a 1,000 bulb fixture aimed thru a Chimera ENG panel with a one stop diffuser on its frame. Two 500 bulb fixtures washed the background while a 183 bulb portable (battery driven) panel provided the backlight. I need a tiny bit more fill so I pulled in a white board on the right of the frame and bounced a bit of light in from another small, battery driven fixture.
Your monitor may disagree but on my monitor, in print and on printed cards the color is bright, saturated and spot on. It was easier building the light for this shot than most of the stuff I've done with flash because I could see exactly what I was getting and I had infinite control over the output of each light source.
We work closer with the LEDs than I have with flash and I'm not sure why that is but the quicker fall off means that I have more tight control in each quadrant of the image.
The image was shot with a Kodak SLR/n Pro and a 50mm lens. Yes. The Kodak. Last month.
I like the shot because it's fun and simple and it was the perfect application of studio LED lighting. We knew we had what we wanted the instant the lighting was complete.