How Jonathan Menga Used Flashes and Smoke Machines to Make His Neighborhood Park Look Like a Forest
One day when Jonathan Menga was out walking in his neighborhood, he fell upon a baseball park he hadn’t really noticed before. Jonathan’s mind started working. Soon, he had an idea. With a clever use of gelled flashes and smoke machines, he would be able to turn the small park into something else.
A few days later, Jonathan returned with a model, an assistant and a make up artist. In his gear bag was two Profoto Acute2 packs, two Acute/D4 Heads, a speedlight, a Softlight Reflector and a bunch of colored gels.
“I wanted these forest photoshoot images to have some sort of mood to them and give off a story,” writes Jonathan on his blog.
Jonathan had some help from the weather conditions. It was a cloudy day and the trees were dark. The mood was further enhanced by the gelled flashes and the smoke machine that Jonathan had brought.
Jonathan explains how the image above was created:
“I wanted to create a scene flooded with smoke to give it a little mystery. It was lit with 3 lights, a YoungNuo speedlight, a Profoto Acute/D4 Head and another one in a silver beauty dish. On camera left, my assistant held the speedlight up high and further within the woods while on the opposite side, I had the Acute/D4 Head on the stand and much closer to the model. This light was specifically placed behind the tree to create a light splash while defining the smoke. I used multiple coloured tiny smoke bombs that created rapid smoke burst,but didn’t last as long as I had hoped. Therefore, I had to use about 6 of them in different places and combined them in post later on. I used the beauty dish on camera left, slightly feathering the model. Shooting lights through trees created a very mystical mood, and by shutting down a bit of the ambient light, it really gave it a night look.”
Head over to Jonathan’s blog for the full story, including lighting breakdowns for the images below.