The Challenge: creating a light set-up to shoot photos of a group of twelve performing and moving actors and single portraits of each of them in front of black background in a short time slot. Equipment: Fiilex K416 Light Kit, 210cm diameter octagon softbox, RED Scarlet Dragon, rehoused Sigma Art 18-35mm T2 and 50mm T1.6.
The Company Laut & Lyrik
A couple of weeks ago, we were asked at short notice to shoot photos for the theater company Laut & Lyrik, a student group that has its origin in the German Faculty of Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. Since 2000, the group is staging and rearranging Lyric through all epochs, headed by speech therapist Wilfried Vogel.
Their clothes for rehearsals and performances are usually black, so is their stage. The only colorful spots during their performances are the subdued light and their instruments, which they use to arrange certain texts .
All attention is is turned to the word, the acting and the sound, neither clothes nor scenery distract the audience from the lyrical performance.
Setting an allround light suitable for all shots with the Fiilex K416 Light Kit
It was clear that black would be the dominant color in the photo. Our time slot was roughly one hour and we needed a light that we could use for all shots and that permitted enough maneuvering room for the group to act and improvise. As light set, we had the Fiilex K416 Light Kit provided by New Media AV.
We used Fiilex P200 in our 210cm diameter octagon softbox to give a soft stray light from above, which was able to lit the 12 actors at once as well as single persons.
P360EX was placed left in front of the actors while P180E was placed on the left behind them to separate the group from the black background. We used the Fiilex dome diffusors for both to soften the light and avoid hard edges. The right side of their faces was only lit by the stray light coming from the Softbox.
Shooting Photos on RED Scarlet Dragon in 6K
Since we were shooting 12 interacting and performing persons at once in an only one hour time slot, we went for our RED Scarlet Dragon in 6K with the low light OLPF. We shot with 8 fps and RC 4:1 which allowed the actors to move, improvise and perform unfettered without depending on single camera releases. In post, we could simply choose the best frames and export R3D files from the timeline to edit them in Adobe After Effects with FilmConvert and finish them up in Adobe Photoshop.
It was an interesting shooting with this vivid group and it’s definitively worth seeing them on stage!