Urban Bride and Groom, with… Zombies!
The ambient lighting in this urban alleyway was way cool! I mean warm. Or I mean more amber in color and cool to use! Or 2700 K. Or..never mind!
I have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of grunge background and nice wedding couple! Now, getting a willing wedding couple to enter a dark alleyway with mud and yuck takes a passionate and persuasive photographer! ( …and a promise to dry-clean the dress) Keeping the wedding dress clean in disgusting environments is a skill I teach classes on!
To really separate the couple (who were deep in conversation about alley smells) from the background, I wanted a silhouette with rim lighting. I set my Sunpak LED-126 video light in the grooms hand hidden behind the couple because it was small and threw a wider beam of light.
This is an example where the quality of light did not matter, and using this panel light was just fine. I never use the Sunpak to front-light faces of couples if I am concerned about the quality of light on skin tones. I use the higher quality Wescot Ice Light or the Dedolight LEDzilla for better skin tones.
With my Canon 24mm 1.4 lens on a Canon 5D Mark II camera I dropped to the muddy ground to brace my camera like a tripod to stabilize the slower shutter speed at the edge of a small chocolate brown typhoid infested puddle.
And then… strange sounds came from across the street; loud and seemingly obnoxious hardly discernible guttural animal sounds! It was dark and I could not decide if I should fight or flight! Of course, I would have to leave the bride! Can you imagine trying to outrun zombies? Well, I mean fast zombies with her big poofy dress on? Sorry. She was zombie bait! I was about to start my sprint, when out of the darkness came five smiling teenagers saying, “Congratulations!” Not your typical blockbuster ending I can tell you that!
Back to the shoot:
I overexposed to bring in more ambient lighting. It was not easy to put all the puzzle pieces together for a power and dynamic composition, but it is always a rewarding experience!!
The couple was happy to leave. The dress was spotless. My nerves were wrecked. All was good! No apocalypse!
I have an assortment of super inexpensive panel LED lights. I use them to highlight foreground and background elements, rim lighting, hair light, secondary sidelight, lighting table settings and more.
I am a big believer in portability and ease of use. Sunpak LED-126 and Sima SL-100LX Pro LED are nice little lights kept ready in my bag to toss some light around when I need it!
Another great use for lightweight LED video lights? Lighting your way out of a dark alleyway when being chased by fast zombies! Of course!