STE P BY STE P / Just add flour
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.