Stalking the Night with Derek

Earlier this week I did the second photo shoot in my body painting series with my good friend Derek. I based this idea around a costume Derek created for Halloween two years ago. Part of my reasoning for doing this series is to practice with off camera flash so this shoot I wanted to try some eerie night lighting.

The paint scheme for Derek is very tribal/animalistic and I wanted the theme of this shoot to look like a strange, wild animal caught in the headlights of a passing car. I had been watching a show about mysterious monsters (like Bigfoot) earlier this week, which may have influenced my decision. In the image above, Derek looks like he was prowling around looking for prey when he was startled by a car coming around a corner. (By the way, a few actual motorists gave us some surprised looks when they passed Derek in the street)

Here are a few more photos:

The next two photos I think are a bit week in terms of composition but I’m including because they fit the caught-in-headlights theme:

What I learned from this shoot:

1. When doing evening shoots I need to start earlier. Granted, the painting took a very long time, but had we started an hour earlier we could have gotten some great ambient light for the background, at least for the beginning of the shoot.

2. I should make a snoot, which is a funnel or tube put in front of a flash to create a spotlight effect. For many of the shots I felt that the light was too spread out and having a snoot would have giving me more control of where the light hit.

3. Bring a flashlight on night shoots. There were many times where i had difficulty focusing on Derek because it was too dark. Had I had a flashlight I could have lit him well enough to accurately focus on him.

-For this shot I gave Derek my phone and had him hold it up to his face so I could use it’s light to focus. He’s in a small cement porch leading to someone’s basement and there was no light what-so-ever.

4. Lastly, I learned I have a great space in my kitchen for portrait shoots. These last few photos were taken against some empty blue wall.

I would like to thank Derek Martin for modeling and Jamie Martina for assisting with the lighting.

Shooting info:

Nikon D300s with Nikkor 50mm 1.8 and Sigma 28mm 1.8 lenses.

All the lighting was created with a Lumopro LP160 triggered by an Interfit radio transmitter.

Some of the shots were diffused with a softbox while the shots in the house were diffused with a white umbrella.

All images copyrighted © 2011 Ohad Cadji Photography.


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