Hey fellow photographer,
How is it going? I am Michael Zelbel.
When I was planning this particular episode I thought
I will be talking about an on-location photo shoot.
But when I now really think about it
then am talking about the opposite,
it is a non-location shoot.
I mean the shoot might have happened on location
but the photos look like they were taken in a regular photo studio
on a neutral background.
I think it is very powerful if you can turn a location
into something like regular photo studio
with neutral back ground.
For instance for today's photo shoot
my cousins Lutz and Uemit
from Tony and guy asked me to shoot
some of their special hairdos and
they needed these photos to look like they
were taken in a photo studio.
Some of them isolated shoots on white back ground
others on a grey back ground. I said okay let's do
it in my photo studio but
for making this sort of hairdo they need tons of stuff.
They need things like washing basins for the hair.
Bottles of chemicals, a lot of tools.
So turning my photo studio into a hair saloon it's very hard for them.
So we thought the other way around:
How hard is it for me to turn their hair salon into my photo studio?
And this is actually very easy.
All I need is a mobile backdrop which I can set up on location
and what I use as such a mobile background is simply
large cotton clothes, 3 x 6 meter pieces of cotton
which are white or neutral grey and they are hanging
on a background rod which is on lightstands
Now this is very easy to set up, it is very easy to transport,
and I prefer these fabric backgrounds over paper on location.
Because paper is very hard to handle,
it is hard to transport, it is not flexible.
A lot of times on location they don't give me enough space.
If I then have a got paper background which is wider
than the available space
then I cannot shoot with it.
Fabric is very flexible, it doesn't directly break when I handle it rough.
It doesn't break when there is something uneven on the ground.
It's very forgiving.
Let's have a look at the set up of todays photo shoot
This was actually one of the cases where I came with a three meter background
but we had to bring it down to 2m and 30cn.
230 centimeters because we just didn't have enough space.
Now nevertheless we could set it up, we could place a model in the middle
and we were firing 2 speedlights into the background
both on half of their power.
So it is a lot of power and one of them was on a 180 cm light stand
so it is shooting form the top.
And the other one shooting up from the ground.
The model is lit from two sides with shoot through umbrellas
Speedlights are on one forth of their power
so it less power than the background lights
and the light is very flat and very even
it's ideal for beauty shoots or for something like hairdos
and when we turned to full body shoots
then we also usually use fill lights.
Which was a speedlight somewhere on the ground
we have a shoot through umbrella above it.
Or sometimes we just used a reflector
the camera was on f/8 and on ISO 160 in order to produce
as little noise as possible.
Because when you're shooting hair
then you want to see every detail in the hair.
Then you want hair and not noise.
Shutterspeed is on the 1/200s
to sync nicely with the speed lights. That's the setting.
When you now go and get something like this fabric background,
you can get expensive stuff.
For instance you can get the rod from Manfroto which is excellent
because it doesn't bend. But you can also get ber-cheap stuff from ebay
I for instance in this shoot I used two background systems
which were really really cheap from ebay.
And they are working as well.
just do yourself a favor when you buy something
then go for an adjustable rod which you can adjust to
whatever space you have on location.
Because otherwise you will run into problems sooner or later.
One thing you should pay attention to is
when you are shooting on fabric, it's wrinkling very easily.
For instance when we have a look at the feet over here
they love to hide behind some folds so pay attention to that one.
Other than that it's very easy to do.
So try it out yourself.
And I wish you Good Light!
Michael: Cheese cake
Michael: Okay, cool.