Brett Harkness Driving Miss Daisy at Night
Photographer Brett Harkness recently shared with us images and diagrams from the book Light & Shoot / 50 Fashion Photos by Chris Gatcum. Here are his thoughts and details behind putting together the images from this shoot.
This image was shot for a clothing company called Love Miss Daisy, which focuses on 1950’s vintage clothing. Taken in the U.K. in July, I decided to end the day long shoot with something a little different. It was around 9pm, the light was fading fast and we were about to wrap up, but I wanted to finish with a bang! I had some smoke bombs with me I’d been looking to use for awhile, so I thought this was the time to give them a go!
Wrapping the model in vintage petticoats I set up the main strobe, an Elinchrom A head with Ranger RX Speed AS pack with a 135cm Octabox. I added a second strobe behind the model to light the fallen tree to the left of the frame and create a rim-lighting effect as it passed through the smoke and across the subject. This head was “naked” to get the most spread from the bulb and had it’s own Ranger pack, both heads on the A channel. It was starting to get dark, but to add further drama I decided to underexpose the scene to give full effect of the strobes.
The ambient light had little effect on the scene allowing the strobes to create a high contrast look that I was after. Using PocketWizard Plus® II radios meant we had the reliability with our triggers to make sure we got the shot. We gave a fallen branch to the model to give more drama to her pose, the mystical scene was set!
We use lighting in a lot of what we do here at BHP studios. It has become a huge part of my style over the years, and will continue to develop as we do as a business. In my eyes this is just the beginning. We use PocketWizard Plus II’s, Plus® III units, FlexTT5, and MiniTT1‘s pretty much every day of our lives! We have always used them and always will. I say if it ain’t broken then don’t try to fix it!
My name is everything and our brand is very strong. The reliability of this brand is only there because of the consistent work we produce, but also the equipment we use allows us to concentrate on the creative side of our shoots. For me the word “reliability” is key. I have used PocketWizard radios in all of my shoots, had them out in -40 degrees! At all of my weddings, in the rain, underground in caves and even at the bottom of a grave! They are strong, well-built and deal with the crazy way in which we work. The Plus III’s give me 32 channels, so I can select to use certain flashes at certain times. They work seamlessly with my Elinchrom Ranger RX lights and also speedlights at the same time. We once used eleven PocketWizards to light a bride and groom in the woods! Great fun! I find the manual triggers work best for me because that’s the way I shoot and learned flash. We use the Flex & Mini’s when we are using off-camera High Speed flash with the Canon 580 EXII flashes.”
You can learn more about Brett Harkness at his site, where he features a recent graveyard shoot featuring PocketWizard Plus II units, his training seminars, his gear, his Flash DVD, other training products. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo. Don’t miss this shoot and others in Light & Shoot / 50 Fashion Photos by Chris Gatcum.
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Brett Harkness, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.