Hot sheet!

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Tuck in your sheets

Fas­ten your bed­sheet over a win­dow or door­way. If there’s some­thing to clip your sheet on to, then use some DIY clips to hold it in place, other­wise use your gaffer tape. Even with clips, you might find that you need to stick it down with the gaffer tape to stop it blow­ing away.

2 Bring the light

Put your flash on a stand the other side of the sheet from your sub­ject, and set it to full power. Stand it about a me­tre away, aimed at the mid­dle of the sheet. Set the flash to man­ual mode if you have TTL ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and if it has a zoom func­tion, set it to the widest set­ting.

3 Prep work

To max­imise the bright­ness of the light and the ‘wrap­ping’ ef­fect it has, place your model close to the sheet. The fur­ther away from the light source they are, the darker the scene will be. This will force you to ramp up your ISO, which can in­tro­duce noise.

4 Carv­ing the set­tings

Set your Nikon to man­ual mode for full con­trol. Choose ei­ther au­to­matic or flash white bal­ance and shoot in RAW – this way you can change the white bal­ance later if you need to. Set the widest aper­ture pos­si­ble (f/2.8 in our case), and a shut­ter speed of 1/200 sec with ISO100.

5 Chisel the fea­tures

If your images are com­ing out over­ex­posed, but you don’t want to change your set­tings, you can use a neu­tral den­sity fil­ter to block some of the light en­ter­ing the lens. A vari­able ND fil­ter will en­able you to tweak the dark­ness un­til you get well-bal­anced ex­po­sures ev­ery time.

6 Scoop out the de­tail

Shoot us­ing a zoom lens like a Nikon 70-200mm. Take it to 70mm to get the whole model in and then push fur­ther in to 200mm to get de­tails of the hands if your model is pos­ing with in­tri­cate pieces. Here Tim was work­ing closely on a cap­i­tal for a col­umn.

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