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My wife put a lot of work into the kids costumes this year, specifically Thor’s, so I thought it only appropriate to capture them as best I could, with limited time.
I had the idea of Thor swinging his hammer at our little dragon (the villain) and if you’ve ever seen a Thor comic book, you’d know he’s surrounded by lightening 96% of the time. I wanted the light to be directional as if coming from a bolt. So I set up my Lastolite Strip box as my main source and tried to position it as close to the side as possible without fulling lighting the front.
You can see I added a hair light with my 580exII & a Lumiquest SBIII. You can also see my arm at the bottom of the frame desperately trying to reflect a bit of light back onto his black shirt, pants & boots, just a touch so I could bring it out if needed later in post. Finally, what you don’t see, is a boomed beauty dish over and angled down. This is providing some light, fill, and texture from his face onto his shirt. But is dialed down enough to not overpower the strip.
I tried to have our Dragon actually jump off a table into pillows, but instead of getting any height, he just propelled himself downwards. Best laid plans eh? So my wife had to hold him up to get the “flying” look. Obviously I had to reverse the position of the strip light so the lightening would be lighting him up from the proper direction. I also repositioned the beauty dish to fill him in more from the left, otherwise he’d be completely black. I had turned off the 580 (as seen) since a spot from the bottom left corner didn’t make sense to me. Though in the final you see I added some lightening in there anyways. Oh well.
Monkey, which was not a custom costume, I didn’t have a clear plan with, only that he’d be a creepy monkey in a corner…. I thought maybe he’d be on an opposite attack, but he failed to make any expression at all. Just blank baby stares… seems to be my luck lately. Admittedly he’s the most out of place part of the shot. He’s uplit by the strip because I wanted him coming at Thor from behind, but since that didn’t look great I just stuck him there.
Did you take photos of your family or friends for halloween this week? Share a link to your photos in the comments – I’d love to see them! And if you’d like, I have a much larger version of the final image over on Flickr.