Lighting a Mountain Top

Today  we are out holding our workshops in Denver teaching shooting and business & marketing workshops. However, we did want to share a cool image that was taken yesterday at our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop and show the set-up!

How did we get this awesome shot with the our fab model, Chad? First, we want to show you what the natural lighting looked like. During Sunday’s Shooting &Post workshop we went up to this amazing spot at the top of a mountain here in Golden, CO, and found this awesome overlook where we could see the sky. We had this amazing rock formation that was really cool, but unfortunately, the lighting was pretty dark since this area was shaded by a tree, and when we exposed for our models face, the sky ended up being blown out. The below shot shows you what the natural light was doing…


Once we made it back to this same location for our lighting workshop, it was late in the day. We knew that the ambient light was really dark in this area (because of some trees around), but also knew that it had awesome potential if we could add some light to it! The background sky was beautiful and we really wanted to capture that in the image. So, we set up a background light (just a 580EX Speedlight on a stand with a Pocket Wizard triggering it – power at full power) to give some lighting to those same rocks our model was standing on the day before, and put an orange CTO gel on it for some added color and depth. Then, we added our studly model Chad, and put a light on the front of him as well. The main light was our Elinchrom Quadra light with a Westcott 24×32 softbox on it – off to camera right.


Here is the behind the scenes set up (thank to Stacey Kyler!) with our two lights and the way the natural light looked.


Then, we positions Chad, our studly male model, so that he was blocking the light and the light stand behind his body to not give away the effect. The final image gave us the look we were going for which was a dramatic sky, great dramatic lighting on the rocks, and cool light on our model! Oh, and there is zero Photoshop on this shot and it was literally edited in about 3 seconds!

The combination of lighting in the background, lighting on our subject, and lighting in the sky from the sun gave us a really cool mountain top shot that rocked!

Thanks so much for stopping by on this fine Tuesday, and we hope that you guys all have a blessed week! Next week our Tuesday Tips & Tricks will only go out to newsletter subscribers, so make sure you are signed up!