Erika and Lanny Mann of Two Mann Studio's and Joseph Radhik have been shooting in and around the Blue city of Jodhpur putting the B10 to the test. At the final location: Toorji's Stepwell, they all get to shoot - illustrating just how their individual styles contrast.
Toorji's Stepwell, built in 1740 had recently undergone an extensive restoration, returning it to its former glory. In this architecturally striking structure, a pool of water sits beneath a seemingly endless series of steps built into the surrounding four walls.
Two sets of photographers. One location.
It's here, in this final location Erika and Lanny Mann and Joseph Radhik (ably assisted by his wife Devika), would capture their final images with the Profoto B10.
This time, instead of photographing each other, models had been recruited, dressed in traditional costume, to allow everyone to shoot - a departure for Erika and Lanny who, being wedding photographers, only ever work with real people, so they had literally never shot with models before.
Joseph shot first with The Manns looking on. Unlike The Manns, Joseph tends to pre-plan the frames he creates in his head before he begins, and he approached the stepwell with an image in mind. "My lighting decisions are always driven by the sort of image I want to create."
On a ledge above the models, Joseph positioned Devika with the B10 pushing light towards them on roughly half-power. Mounted on the B10 Joseph used an OCF Beauty Dish White to give the light a crisp and slightly creamy quality. Joseph then captured the image from a high angle on the wall across the way.
"I love the fact I can use all of Profoto's light shaping tools with the B10; it makes it so easy to create natural and beautiful light that makes the most of this extraordinary place."
Romance and attitude
For Joseph's second image he moved his shooting position to the wall directly opposite the models. He wanted to create something dramatic and symmetrical and noticed that the steps in the stepwell wall created large diamond shapes. So he positioned the models in each of the diamonds and placed one B10 above each of them pointing directly downward.
The cool light from the B10's, the symmetry of the shot all combined with the models posing with shades with more than a little attitude, brought a contemporary feel to this utterly traditional location.
“Thanks for hogging all the light, Joseph.”
By the time it was Erika and Lanny's turn to shoot, the light was falling quickly - and because their style is instinctive, creating on the fly - the Manns had to think fast. Erika positioned herself on one side of the expanse of water with Lanny and the models on the opposite side at a slightly higher level on the steps.
Lanny positioned the first B10 on a stand above the passage of steps the male model was climbing. Firing the B10 downwards a soft pool of light was created for the model to walk into. The second B10 was positioned just behind the female model aimed directly at the wall - framing her in a smaller halo of light.
Making light of light work
Lanny, certainly appreciated the lightweight and portable nature of the B10, "I literally ran up and down those steps almost 30 times, It really did help that heavy batteries and cords didn't weigh me down."
The Manns were officially now shooting in the blue hour. Both B10's were fitted with CTO gels to add warmth to overcome the cold, almost oppressive dusk light. Erika explained, "yellow and blue are pretty much opposites on the color wheel, so they contrast really well together." Again the final image was another example of how the Manns like to create contrasts with light and darkness.
Just time for one more
The final shot made the most of this ancient and romantic setting, with the models climbing the steps together. The natural light had all but gone, but Erika and Lanny had one more image in mind and were determined to capture it quickly with just one light.
With the B10 positioned above the models and angled away from the wall, with a CTO gel for a little warmth, they were able to put most of the light into the couple, separating them from the background and helping to create the mirror effect with the reflection. A simple, yet effective solution to create a truly captivating image.
And thankfully, even after battling with dying light, the Manns left happy. "With all the modifiers and gels you get to use with the B10 you can literally solve any problem that might occur on location."
Joseph was equally enthused by what he'd experienced. "Lighting for me is always a means to an end. It should help tell a story - and the B10 helped me to do that."