Lady in Blue
A marvelous, dance-filled evening.
For the background I used a 2-meter diameter bamboo picnic table umbrella that I bought at Bangkok’s famous weekend Chatuchak Market. I sawed off the stem to make it as short as possible and I attached it two light stands, one with a Manfrotto Super Clamp, the other with a Nano Clamp. I converted my hotel room into a mini-studio. You can see my bed flipped vertical against the wall on the right. This setup shot was exposed only by the fluorescent ceiling light.
The music was blasting.
To enhance the night, Nardia and I performed a little dance jig for the amusement of my assistant, Kit, and Hilde, the makeup artist.
An ample supply of Chang beer was flowing.
In the disco dance photo on the right you can see that the umbrella appears more blue. There was a piece of blue net fabric hanging behind the model, which I used for another image. Note the two pieces of masking tape on the floor for alignment of Nardia’s toes so that her body position stayed fixed relative to the soft box key light boomed above and to keep her centered on the umbrella.
I used a Canon 580EX II Speedlite mounted into a 16×16-inch small, gridded soft box for a tight circle of soft light on Nardia’s upper body. This unit was triggered with Pocket Wizard TT5 radios. The lens was a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS on a 5DM2. You can spot the Ray Ring Flash, which provided the fill at one f/stop down. Since my camera’s hot shoe holds the Pocket Wizard radio transmitter, I’ve mounted the ring flash underneath the camera using a cold shoe with a 1/4-20 screw threaded into the camera’s tripod socket.
I augmented Nardia’s natural glow In post-production Photoshop using the “Dynamic Skin Softener” filter in the Nik Color Efex Pro collection. Then I applied another Nik filter called “Glamour Glow.” And after that I merged all the layers into one at the top of the stack and applied a 15 pixel Gaussian Blur with the layer set to “Lighter Color” blend mode and the opacity tweaked to glow the highlights just a bit.
But rest assured. There’s not much one needs to add that could enhance Nardia’s presence.
And so . . . we danced the night away.
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