How I Shot a Magazine Cover
The theme of the March 2013 issue of Shutterbug magazine was new lighting gear and in it I tested the Flashpoint DG-series monolights calling them “Big, ’Blue and Affordable.”
Farace’s Laws of special effects applies with lighting too: No matter what technique you use, a portrait’s look is always subject dependent and will depend on the person, what they are wearing and background used. I used a two different approaches to photograph Ms. Simpson wearing her grandmother’s 70 year old wedding dress. While the same two Flashpoint DG monolights were used in each shot, the background is different and I used dissimilar lighting set-ups to produce completely different effects.
A simple traditional lighting set-up was used for my first portrait of Pam Simpson wearing her grandmother’s wedding dress: The main light is a DG600 with 28 x 28-inch PZ Softbox mounted. Fill was provided by a Flashpoint DG400 with 60-inch white Adorama parabolic umbrella. Shot with Canon EOS 5D and EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 109mm.) Nik Software’s Glamour Glow filter was lightly applied to the finished image.
For a more contemporary lighting setup and the photo that was selected for the cover, I kept the a FlashpointDG600 with 28 x 28-inch PZ Softbox mounted in the same location as the previous shot but moved the DG400 behind Ms. Simpson with its reflector removed allowing light to scatter around the studio. No background was used, just the studio wall. Exposure with the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 109mm) was 1/125 sec at f/13 and ISO 100. Nik Software’s Vignette Blur filter was lightly applied to the finished image.