Off camera flash


Lotus Disco

The word Lotus has several meanings, from Formula 1 racing cars to a plant referred to in Greek and Roman mythology, which produced a pleasant drowsiness. In the middle of these definitions, in Montevideo, Lotus is a discotheque.

Isarrualde Photography off-camera flash

lighting scheme I

Model Lucía Lois by Valentino Bookings

We had a wide variety of styles from various designers. I started the session on the dance floor whose ceiling was full of mirror balls in the best Disco style of the eighties. The balls gave their game, since the color of the ceiling was black, they had to be illuminated to achieve brightness and reflections. As for the dress, it reminded me of a character from the movie “Alice in Wonderland”, directed by the great Tim Burton. In it, a secondary character of the Red Queen’s court, the woman with the long nose, wore a very similar costume.

Tim Burton

La Reina Roja

As for the atmosphere of the disco, it had a very eighties style, which reminded me of the movie “Saturday night fever”, with Jhon Travolta as Tony Manero.

Saturday Night Fever

Jhon Travolta

The first pictures

I explain these references that appeared to me when I arrived at the location and saw the dress, because somehow, they led me to take the picture that starts this post.

It was necessary to counterpoint the shot to be able to see the balls and the light source could not be too big, otherwise it would be reflected too much in many of the mirrors of the balls close to the model. I used a Godox octagonal softbox very close to the model so that the lighting contrast was not excessive and at the same time allowed me to “wrap the model with light”, without reaching the balls too much.

Godox adapter for Bowens

Godox adapter for Bowens

Godox supplies different types of interchangeable bayonets, although the most common is the Bowens bayonet. In my case, having Bowens flashes for the shoot was very convenient. The photographs were taken during a fashion workshop I gave in Montevideo a few months ago and all the lighting sets were made with two Bowens Gemini 500 standalone units and various accessories.

Bowens Gemini

Bowens Gemini

To diminish the contrast I placed a golden reflector on the right side and in this way I managed to make it look as if the reflection of the colored lights of the local spotlights were reaching the model. The image was taken with a tripod because it was necessary to take a second shot with identical framing to illuminate the balls. If I had had many flashes I could have taken the picture in one shot, but I wanted to use two reportage flashes on the model and I was forced to take a second shot because I didn’t have more flashes.

The second photograph was taken by attaching different colored gelatins to a flash head and firing it from different directions with different colors. Then with Photoshop I superimposed a layer from the second shot on the first one and that’s how I got the resulting photo.

Isarrualde Photography Strobist

Montage of 6 photographs

The second photograph was more sober, in the same place where I took the first one. A fantastic “capitoneado” armchair in red corduroy and golden wood, served as seat and “throne”. Perhaps this second photo is the one that most resembles the references mentioned above. This photograph was also taken with a tripod as I wanted to shoot it with a long exposure in order to mix the light from the flash with the hard light bulbs that were on the dance floor of the venue.

Several halogen lamps with a very narrow cone of light generated spots of light on the gray floor. By lowering the frame, the environment was much darker than in the previous photo and I didn’t want the model to stand out too much against that dark environment.

Isarrualde Photography Off-camera flash

Lighting scheme II

Desing Vale Valuchi

The last pictures

Isarrualde Photography

Lighting scheme III

Design Estephanie Ferrari

The next costume was by another designer and the circles of the dress with the fine bevels of the mirrors on the wall took me to the abstract painting of Wassily Kandinsky. Geometrization permeates his work from the 1920s onwards as can be seen in the following work.

Wassily Kandinski

Wassily Kandinsky

In this case the mirrors were a major technical problem. Being specular surfaces that reflect everything you see in them, it was necessary to place the lighting in a place that favored the model while not drawing excessive attention to the reflection of light in the mirrors.

I used the octagonal window again for two reasons. It was a soft light that would flatter the model and allow me to control the reflection as a gradient rather than as a bright spot that would have produced another, harsher type of fixture. The window was large and very close to the model so some reflections are white and occupy the entire surface of a piece of mirror and in other cases produced a gradient, depending on the angle of the mirrors on the wall.

Isarrualde Photography

Lighting scheme IV

Design Valentina del Llano

The last dress was more sober so I used another wall of the disco as a backdrop. Here I positioned two crossed lights to give the model a slightly harsher expressiveness.

Make up and hair : Roxana Porro

lighting scheme of a fashion set at lotus nightclub in Montevideo with model using strobist technique lighting scheme I

lighting scheme of a fashion set at the lotus nightclub in Montevideo with a model using the strobist technique during a strobist lighting technique workshop. Lighting scheme II

lighting scheme of a fashion set at lotus discotheque in Montevideo with model Lighting scheme III

lighting scheme of a fashion set at lotus nightclub in Montevideo, Uruguay Lighting scheme IV


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