STE P BY STE P / Just add flour

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Find a dark space

We need a dim en­vi­ron­ment and a dark back­drop, so we shot in a pri­vate un­der­ground car park. Ar­range dust sheets to min­imise the mess, but be aware their colour might af­fect the light; here the re­flected light from the blue ma­te­rial gave us an in­ten­tion­ally cool cast.

2 Light the sub­ject

Our Speed­lights are po­si­tioned on light stands, an­gled away from the back­drop to pre­vent spill, and set to man­ual power with the set­tings shown. The front light is fit­ted with a white shoot-through um­brella, the back left has a sil­ver um­brella and the back right a beauty dish.

3 Set the ex­po­sure

We fire the Speed­lights us­ing a wire­less trig­ger fit­ted to the cam­era and a re­ceiver on one of the flash­guns; the oth­ers are set to op­ti­cal Slave mode. The cam­era’s set to man­ual with a shut­ter speed of 1/200 sec, then we ad­just aper­ture and ISO un­til the ex­po­sure looks right.

4 Sprin­kle the flour

We asked our model P-J to hold flour in his hands then re­lease it as he danced and moved. To show the move­ment in dif­fer­ent parts of the body try sprin­kling flour over the shoul­ders, arms and feet. If your sub­ject has long hair, you could try sprin­kling it there too.

5 Work the poses

It re­ally helps if you can work with a sub­ject who knows how to move their body. If you can trust them to get into in­ter­est­ing po­si­tions, it frees you to con­cen­trate on per­fect­ing the tech­nique, tim­ing and com­po­si­tion. Even so, it might take sev­eral at­tempts to nail the pose.

6 Di­rect your sub­ject

Strong back- and side-light­ing gives us these bright high­lights along both sides of the body. We need to pose the sub­ject to make the most of this edge light, ask­ing them to turn the head and body one way or the other as they move. A straight-on pose wouldn’t work here.

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