Lighting a Fashion Show Runway

Started Jan 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
historianx
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Re: Lighting a Fashion Show Runway
In reply to Lawrence Keeney, May 16, 2013

Imma gonna play Devil's Advocate here.  Ive been shooting runway shows since the late 1970s and I have never run into a situation where flash is expressly forbidden (but then the largest market Ive shot in is LA).  A lot of the runway work I do is not only fashion, but hair and makeup as well, and IMO available light does not do justice to hair and makeup.  Being of photojournalism background, I am an expert at flash, on and off camera, and can set my exposures based on what light is available, how soft or bright, and what kind it is.  IOW, if I can't see the color of a model's eyes on a tight head shot, which is part of my runway documentary process, I am not doing the designer's or hmua's work justice.

All too often, I see photographers use available light, and quite frankly the results are terrible (muddy, splotched, and more often than not WAY too yellow) esp. if they are working on uncalibrated monitors, cant color-correct, using kit lenses, or shooting at too high ISO.   I really think a lot of photographers have a fear of flash or strobe lighting, and are very unsure as to how it's done, or they don't have the equipment to do so, so they attempt available light with very mixed results.

Or they dont have external battery packs that allow fast recycling....

Im not saying all are terrible, many of the more experienced a/l shooters with extensive film backgrounds and pricey fast pro glass do quite good, Im just one of those that prefers flash due to more accurate color renditions and clarity.   This is the way I was taught, and that's the way I do it.

Your results may vary.

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