This weekend I was able to shoot the first set in the art book concept we are working on “Projektor”.
Working with the only lighting being a 1500 lumen projector is an interesting prospect. We shot raw, 2.5F and around 3 seconds on the shoot. We also shot in bursts of 3, high, low, medium so we could merge the pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop along the way to make sure we were getting a decent exposure. Lots of chimping because of the low light process on this photo shoot because if the model moved during the burst shoot (high, low, regular) the image would come out blurry in the final product.
If you want to shoot like this, I highly recommend any 1500 Lumen or better projector, a tripod because no one can hold the camera still enough, and work with the model so that they know low light means a lot of smears. My defect rate on this shoot was somewhere around 40% (where I am deleting about 40% of the pictures I take) because they are blurry or otherwise show model movement. It is hard holding still for three or so seconds.
You also want to make sure that the studio is warm, that is one of the things about the studio I work out of, it might have heaters, but they don’t work. Most of the rooms in the studio are cold and if you have a model, posing nude, cold will not work out all that well.
Make sure you do use an MUA for this, even if the backgrounds are heavy and it is hard to make out the makeup, you still want to have a period makeup job for this depending on what period of makeup you want. For this we chose to use a 1920’s style makeup routine, heavy eyeliner, skin lightener, deep red lipstick to work with some of the images that were lighter than the darker backgrounds.
In all, shooting in low light is a lot of fun, but practice first with a friend before you pay for a model to do the work. Camera sensors differ and it can be difficult to work in low light. It can be amazingly rewarding though, and a skill worth developing for your portfolio. Sadly, most of these pictures need to remain behind passwords for the time being because I don’t want to deal with the voyeur web sites.