I have talked about big light sources in an earlier post and how incredible the quality of light can be when managed well. In continuation with my pursuit of the perfect “renaissance” light source I finally took the leap forward and have created my largest (softest) light source to date. It does take up about 30 percent of my studio space and uses nearly all of my lighting packs and heads, but it gives me the ultimate flexibility to create and control beautiful simulated window light (at any time of the day with extremely fast equivalent shutter speeds at low ISOs).
I promise to show some of the results of this beautiful light source when used to emulate window light in the next post (I am also working on a behind the scenes video for a future post). For today however I wanted to share the main reason I built this source so large. In my first post on Large Light Sources I presented some examples of how beautiful and powerful this type of lighting can be when you shoot directly into it. I absolutely love the quality of light on the body when used this way and it got me thinking how wonderful it would be to shoot some of the Aerial series with this technique. Unfortunately the aerial series takes a great deal of space and for this technique to work I calculated I would need at least a 16 foot x 16 foot seamless diffusion panel that I could bounce very soft light into. It did take a while to source the material but I finally found the diffusion and we moved forward with the construction of the source. Below is a quick snapshot of the “Renaissance Light” and following is an image from the first Aerial shoot with it.
I was extremely pleased with this result and all that have followed so far. At this point I think at least 1/3 of the new Aerial book will be shot using this technique.
More details and examples coming in my next post.