STEP by STEP / Cre­ate a spooky set


1 Place the flash­guns

We placed a pair of flash­guns with wire­less trig­gers af­fixed to light stands to the left and right of our model. This cre­ated a bal­anced split light on ei­ther side of them, with a shadow down the mid­dle, and clearly out­lined the shape of our main sub­ject with light.

2 Cor­don off the back­drop

Next we pulled a black cur­tain be­hind our sub­ject to block any stray light from bounc­ing off ad­ja­cent walls and strik­ing them. It made for a nice, clean back­drop, which meant it would be eas­ier to blend in our fire im­ages later on in the process.

3 Dial in the set­tings

We used an aper­ture set­ting of f/4.5 to keep most of our sub­ject in fo­cus but en­sure the back­drop was out of fo­cus. Our shut­ter speed was 1/200 sec to match the max sync speed of the flash, and we used ISO100 to get an over­all bal­anced ex­po­sure.

4 Take a shot of both

We wanted the skull to look like it was hov­er­ing above our sub­ject’s hand, so we took two sep­a­rate shots. One of the model ges­tur­ing to­wards the cam­era, and an­other where the sub­ject held the skull up in front of the cur­tain, tak­ing care to lean out of the frame.

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