Language Room which is a band based out of Austin, Tx was in Houston for a show and we thought we’d knock out a few promo photos. Lets just say it was CRAZY HOT outside. ugh. I hadn’t shot any promo photos in awhile so I was really looking forward to getting back out there and making it happen. Every time I shoot I ALWAYS learn something new and this shoot was no exception.
Anyways I thought I would post a photo from our session and a setup shot so you can see what I used in order to capture the photo. Here is a final photo of the band completely processed in Lightroom 3.
Canon EOS-5D Mark II : Canon EF 17-40 f/4L : 1/160th : f/8 : 100 ISO : 40mm : Manual Mode : 0 Bias : Strobe Fired
This is the setup shot of a different photo but I used the same basic lighting setup through out the shoot. I normally try to use an Elinchrom Octabox on my lighting kit but since we had 4 band members to cover I opted for a Westcott 60″ Convertible Umbrella which would help spread the light out bit more. Having a bit more spread made sure that I could light up all 4 guys when stood side by side. Plus remember, the larger (and closer) the light source is to your subject, the softer the shadows.
I’ve owned several inexpensive eBay light stands in the past and earlier this year I decided to purchase a much more stout Light Stand that also included a Boom Arm. I chose the Avenger A475B 7′ Boom Stand which is much more pricey than my previous light stands but its worth every penny. The Avenger stand is very well made and even has a built-in leveling leg which is nice when used on uneven ground and/or steps etc. I added the Manfrotto 026 Umbrella Swivel Mount to round out the stand and mount my light and umbrella too. I’ve used plastic mounts in the past and those are just made too cheap.
For this shoot I mainly placed the light directly in front of them, up high as shown angled down at the guys. This allowed me to get equal lighting on all 4 of the guys from left to right. This is really where the boom arm comes in handy since I don’t have to maneuver around a vertical light stand when shooting them head on. When shooting small groups of say 1 or 2 people for instance then I wouldn’t necessarily light them from head on, I’d place the lighting off to one side in order to get a little more dramatic feel in my lighting.
Canon EOS-5D Mark II : Canon EF 17-40 f/4L : 1/160th : f/8 : 100 ISO : 17mm : Manual Mode : 0 Bias : Strobe Fired
The biggest piece of my lighting kit is the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Light Kit. I have the one light, A Head kit which never fails to impress me anytime I use it. It’s so compact, so light weight, so easy to use I absolutely love it. In the past I’ve only used smaller speedlites for my on location lighting kit but this new Quadra puts out an amazing 400w/s which is plenty for my style.
The Quadra kit has a built-in Elinchrom Skyport receiver and it even comes with a Skyport Transmitter to use on camera but I’ve mainly stuck with my PocketWizard Plus II Transceivers since I’ve had some initial concerns about the Skyport’s reliability. I can say that the last time I used my lighting kit I used the Elinchrom Skyport transmitter setup and it worked flawlessly. I still don’t see myself selling my PocketWizards off anytime soon just in case. Ha!
Anyways… I hope this post was a nice little peek into how I shoot promos and what equipment I use.