Lighting a Fashion Show Runway

Started Jan 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
vocaleyes New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Lighting a Fashion Show Runway

I shot a fashion show in a small shopping mall last weekend. The ambient light in the mall was expectedly atrocious, and the stage lighting provided by a local wedding DJ was well-meaning, but not extraordinarily crisp, and was only focused on the very front of the catwalk. To over come these problems, I used three strobes -- a hair light and two strobes at the front of the catwalk. I put my front lights at different heights, with the top one honeycombed and flagged to put light only on the back end of the catwalk.

It was a great experiment. I wish I could have put one of the strobes directly over the stage, though. My limitation there was that I didn't know how long the batteries in my radio slaves would last, and the scissor lift had to be locked up when the mall opened, three to four hours before the show.

I used the 70-200 f/2.8 with the collar mounted on a monopod as is frequently recommended by fashion shooters. This focal length gave me full-length models at both ends of the catwalk, plus an option to shoot waist-&-above at the near end.


The strobes gave me the extra snap I needed to get stop-action, plus even white balance and a quick recycle time. I say it was worth the hassle. Next year, more strobes!

 vocaleyes's gear list:vocaleyes's gear list
Canon EOS 50D Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM +1 more
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