Sunrise in the Forest!

Just a forest spirit, floating through the ferns, admiring the greenery. Truth be told (and this is where you need a hardy, beautiful and patient model) it’s actually pretty cold and gray in the woodlands surrounding Birmingham, UK. The frontal light is provided by an Ezybox Pro Octa held aloft by Cali with a Manfrotto Extension Handle.

The camera for this pic is the Nikon Z6 with the new 14-30mm lens, which has become, for me, an essential go-to lens in the new mirrorless world we live in.

The backlight, which is important to the scene above, comes from a Lastolite tri-flash laden with three Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights, all gelled to throw off the color of sunrise, or sunset. Play with a setup like this. The flash output (manual, full power) is enough to flair into the lens and actually hide the fact that it’s machinery back there and not the sun. I have the Speedlights in the picture, but the gaggle of them doesn’t look like Speedlights. So, sometimes I hid the lights behind Billi’s head, other times I let it play as potential sun flare.

Note the stocking cap Matt is wearing below. It was definitely cold!

I felt like this forest gnome, equipped with a big softbox, leaping out of the forest, camera in hand. (Also using a Halo reflector here to fill from below.)  It was fun, and, thankfully, done quickly, given the threatening weather. You can really work fast like this. TTL radio commands the flashes, and the collapsible Lastolite shapers are easily transported in and out of all manner of places. The stuff works well both in the studio and on location.

In the frame above, the warm backlight goes missing. I either put it too far away, or it didn’t fire, and some measure of interest and dimension definitely goes missing without it. Below is further evidence of Billi’s patience as I am directing her, while I’m all wrapped up in winter clothing. The perils of location…..

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