Painting a picture with light shaping: Geoff Ang's shooting with studio packs
Commercial photography can often take grand proportions. But no advertising shoot is too complex and no idea is too original for Geoff Ang. With the help of a few Profoto Studio generators he can really paint a picture.
Ad and commercial photographer Geoff Ang is known for taking on practical challenges with fearlessness and ease. With his abilities to handle complex and technical shoots he has really made a name for himself. That is why BBH Shanghai commissioned him to do a shooting for the paint company Dulux.
The concept behind the shoot may seem simple in theory: To advertise paint you splash your subject in color. The idea came from the creative team at BBH Shanghai and they showed some sketches to Geoff.
“They knew exactly what they wanted with the images. They had very specific briefs of a story on how opposites attract and how they also work harmoniously”.
Practically it was a little bit more complex. As on any commercial shoot, the time was a challenging factor. Geoff and his crew only had two days to shoot. To make it all in time Geoff schedule the first day to shoot his subjects and the main set. The second day was a full day of shooting colorful liquid.
“As I had to shoot two different ads in a day, we used a massive studio. We built two sets enabling me to make quick changes after the first ad was shot. Each ad was shot with models on set over a 5-6 hour session. That resulted in a 10-12 hour day for the first day of shooting.”
Geoff explains he also had to do the pre light the day before the actual shooting day, while the set was still being constructed. It allowed him to go straight out to the set, knowing that the he only had to set up the camera on the day of the shoot.
For the lighting setup he used four Pro-8a Airs. The first one as front light, which he equipped with two ProHead Plus with a Giant Silver 210 respectively a Giant Reflector 240. Using two other Pro-8a Airs, each with a ProHead Plus and a Zoom Reflector, he bounced light on a huge white reflector over the subjects. In addition he used a fifth Pro-8a Air with a ProHead Plus and a Softbox RFi 1×6′ as fill over the subject.
“On a shoot like this camera and lighting consistency is very, very important, as I was shooting different elements that had to blend in seamlessly even though they were shot on different occasions. It had to look like it was all done in one shot.”
Geoff explains that the biggest challenge was getting the right splash shape and intensity. In order to achieve those amazing splashes he worked with, what he calls, “expert liquid handlers”, using all kinds of different buckets, pails, and contraptions.
“My lighting approach and sensibilities for the shoot was to keep it even and clean. The wall colors have to be seen evenly and accurately, with some subtle edge lighting to create some separation of the talents and liquid away from the background wall.
“Also as this is a paint ad, color accuracy and consistency of the flash shot after shot has to be spot on.”
After the shoot several hours of post production awaited. Geoff explains it was mainly a huge undertaking of editing the hundreds of splashes to find the perfect one to blend into the models wardrobe. He wanted to create a splash that had a nice rich shape and silhouette. This aside, Geoff Ang’s tip to do as much in-camera as possible.
“Take the extra time to craft the light and perfect it in-camera. If you have an image that is amazing already in-camera, imagine where it will be after some retoucher’s angel dust!”
See more of Geoff Ang’s images on his website.