The Girl with the Umbrella - Honey Baby88

One of the more fun things about collaborating with a model and letting them come up with a theme is that it frees you up to just figure out how to light and shoot the scene.  Honey had an idea of a girl sitting on a bench with an umbrella.  She took care of getting the props and costume together and I chose the location that I knew because it wouldn't take much work to figure out how to light it.

Just a few feet away from where we did our lantern shoot was a small park bench.  In fact, if you look closely at the below photo, you'll see on the right side of the frame a wooden railing.  That's the same wooden bridge that we used for the lantern shoot.  I always like to choose locations that -- if shot correctly -- could be almost anywhere.  And if you move just a few feet over, would look like a totally different location entirely.

ISO 200   56mm lens   f/1.6   1/250sec

For the above shot, I was trying to get the lighting correct, so it's mostly a test.  I had a speedlight on a lightstand high and off to the right for the key light.  But we wanted to get a glowing luminescence from the umbrella, so I put another speedlight behind Honey's back, but it still wasn't enough.  So I next put my Nissin flash with the still-attached CTO gels behind Honey's head.  The contrast of colors is interesting.   

For the next shot, the wind took Honey's umbrella and she had to jump after it.

ISO 200   35mm lens   f/1.4   1/250sec

Not really.

Honey actually had this shot in mind and had always wanted to give it a try.  Any shot like this would be problematic, especially with the low light.  Hence the use of a flash to freeze the motion.  From having done sports photography, I know that in most instances I'd need a minimum of 1/500sec to freeze the motion of the subject.  The X-T2's flash sync speed is 1/250sec, so slightly better than the X-T1's speed of 1/180sec.  My hope was that no matter what part of her might be blurry, her face would be in focus.  And it worked!  We had to do this take about five times, each time with Honey tossing the umbrella up and her jumping after it.  In heels!  Also, in order to get more of the surroundings into the shot, I used the 35mm f/1.4 lens, which is about a 52mm field of view on a full frame camera.

This final photo is actually my favorite of the entire day.

ISO 200   56mm lens   f/1.6   1/250sec

It's not so much the lighting that makes it my favorite; it's the look on her face.  But, of course, there's something about the lighting as well.  It's a lot softer in this shot, and the Nissin with the attached CTO gels are hidden a little better.  You can also pick out little details too, like her blue nail polish and even the color of her eyes.  But again, it's the expression on her face that does it for me.  It looks so ... fashion model-ish!  That's the best way for me to describe it.

Overall, a really fun segment of the shoot!

Gear used:  Fuji X-T2 with 56mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses, plus two Yongnuo 560 II speed lights, a Yongnuo flash trigger, and a Nissin i40FJ speedlight.