Plan The Perfect Shoot (Part 2)

6/18/2012 9:35:25 AM

15.30: After many cups of coffee and lunch we now have our first ‘look’ and venture upstairs to studio two. This is a glorious white-washed space flooded by natural light. I though it would be the perfect opportunity to settle in the model. I wasn’t at this point concerned about capturing a usable image, it was more about building up a rapport with the model and putting her at ease. Our model Chloe was fantastic, she didn’t need much prompting and totally understood what was required. So we start shooting and this is when I started to get excited about the IQ180. It’s a breeze to use and is logically laid out. I’m able to instantly show our model and the team the captured images via the touch-screen display. This was important as it instantly instilled confidence in everyone. Whilst shooting, we decided that the makeup was too heavy and needed adjusting. This then prompted and outfit change and a move downstairs to studio one with its infinity curve.

Description: I started to get excited about the IQ180

16.30: We are deep into the serious business of taking photographs, but also having fun. I’m shooting, tethered directly to Capture One Pro and reviewing each shot on an external monitor. I realise immediately because of the quality of the IQ180, I can distance myself from the model and get into some creative cropping. I could afford to lose up to 60% of the photograph and still retain a usable high-quality image. From here on, we introduce a wind and smoke machine. The creative cropping had brought about ideas involving the movement of the model and the flow of material in her dress.

17.30: It’s time for a few rapid changes and the final shots of the day. We have already captured some great images, so it’s a good chance for everyone to experiment and see what we can create in the final minutes of our shoot. After thanks and applause all round, followed by a short interview with me for our film maker, all equipment is packed down and loaded up. I always do a final check to ensure I don’t leave anything behind.

19.30: I return home, unload and place all used batteries on charge for the next shoot.

The next day: I start up Capture One Pro and scan through the images, selecting the best ones from the shoot. Basic adjustments are made on selected RAW files and once I’m satisfied I export them as TIFF files into Photoshop for their final treatment. On a test shoot like this with lots of contributors, I like to edit around 8-12 photographs, so everyone comes away with some useful shots for their portfolios.

When organising a shoot, make sure to get a good creative team together. Challenge yourself and push the boundaries. I’m always looking for a new approach and a new way of shooting, this way you’ll gain knowledge and confidence. Communication is the key to a well-organised shoot. Any problems can be dealt with easily as long as you are communicating with your team.


Description: Angle

 ‘Shooting from a low viewpoint makes the model appear dominant’


 ‘Extravagant use of a beauty dish with a grid to produce a back light to highlight the model’s hair’

Gold dress

 ‘Light hitting the gold sequins created interesting specular highlights’

Black dress

 ‘The model and lights were moved away from the white backdrop to produce a grey graduated background’

Close up

 ‘The IQ180 captures astonishing detail’


 ‘A smoke and wind machine were used to forge a dreamy fantasy feel – check if the studio has these to hire’


Description: Drama

 ‘A single key light was used to create drama and interesting shadows’

The key set-up

 ‘Time was spent getting the light setup right, so that only fine adjustments were necessary during the shoot’

Behind the scenes

Description: Behind the scenes


The model was encouraged to dance and twirl around, giving rise to movement within the dress

Hair & makeup

A separate preparation area for the model is beneficial


To get interesting angles, sit down or lie on the floor

Window light

Nathan prefers to use just natural light whenever possible to create a fresh, organic look

Checking the shots

Nathan and his team use Capture One Pro to help speed up the workflow process and check the results in detail

The IQ180

Description: The IQ180

Although you might have to re-mortgage your home to acquire one of these backs, it has to be said that the IQ180 was a dream to use. The touch screen display made light work of viewing all files. I could easily check to see if photographs were in focus or not via its intuitive controls. The IQ180 captures stunning extreme detail and the accurate and neutral colour rendition is phenomenal. Skin tones are alive and natural. Its 12.5 stops of dynamic range means you can reproduce shots with extreme tonal differences and adjust them accordingly.

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