Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Game of Thrones" Themed Photoshoot

Because I am a bit of a lighting geek, when I see a photo that I like, I will study it and try to reverse engineer how the lighting was done.  I've done it since I was in college.  Back then, if you had found a hypothetical copy of Playboy in my dorm room, there were lighting notes scribbled in the margins next to the photos.  Hypothetically, of course.  Serious geekiness, what can I say...

And this geekiness applies to TV and movies as well.  I will totally lose track of the plot because I get caught up in studying how a scene was lit. Fortunately there are DVRs, On Demand, and YouTube, so I can go back and get the plot points I missed.

A couple of months ago I was watching scenes from "Game of Thrones", and I noticed how they use color casts (white balance) to accent certain locales.  Scenes that take place in the desert usually have warm yellow/orange tones,  while scenes in "the North" (especially Winterfel or Castle Black) have a blue cast that emphasizes the cold.  And I thought "I know how to do that!"  That was where the idea for this shoot was born.

This was a bigger production than the personal photoshoots I've done in the past.  It was a challenge to pull together everything I needed for this shoot:  A red-haired model who was interested and available, a location that could pass for a castle, appropriate clothing and props, and of course, snow.  As it turned out, the biggest problem was the snow (or rather, the lack thereof)!  Even though it was officially winter, the weather here in Pittsburgh didn't want to cooperate.  We had lots of warm weather and lots of rain, which resulted in a lot of flooding and landslides in the area.  As the weeks passed and we got closer to spring, I was about ready to give up on being able to pull this shoot off.  Then a freaky series of storms blew through, and we had snow!  It wasn't going to last though, so I had to scramble to schedule the shoot on short notice.

A special shout out to my model, Hope Marie.  It was our first time working together.  She came prepared, ready to shoot, and didn't complain about the miserable weather conditions (25 degrees, no sun, and 20 mph wind gusts).  A true professional who was a joy to work with.  I look forward to working with her in the future.

For my fellow lighting geeks, here's the technical details. Godox AD200 main with Full CTO, 1/2 CTO, and a MagSphere. Godox V860ii-N rimlight with 1/2 CTB. Both lights full power. Nikon D800E. 80-200/2.8 at 135mm. ISO 100, 1/250 sec at f4.5. WB 2200K, tint -30.  Pullback for the first shot included above.