Another shoot from the science project I’m working on. Another day, another scanner. Or was it? This particular assignment was the very definition of ‘tough’. In short – how to make a plastic, fake piece of equipment in a dingy 12×8 foot room with no windows look like a multi million pound MRI body scanner in a nice, clean clinical environment. Did I mention it was tough? More pics after the leap…
The shot above kind of captures the essence of the room as it was – a quick snap before any lighting set up took place. Basically this is a ‘mock’ scanner used in psychological experiments, largely made of plastic and bearing very little resemblance to the real deal. However, the big advantage here was that a) I could get near it and stick lights in it as there was no big magnet to break my gear, or me and b) I could get a model in there without any health and safety worries.
Note in the shot above also – I’ve started to place speedlights, namely one at the back here that you can see firing off. It’s this speedlight at the back that powered through (literally at full whack power) and helped to make the scanner come to life as it were.
The shot above shows the scene coming to life. The speedlight at the back is firing out and illuminating the interior. My willing model and volunteer Charlie (who had a very easy job of basically falling asleep for an hour) and the exterior is being lit with another speedlight, this time in a shoot through brolly.
White balance was very difficult to pin down for this shoot, and I had a real mixed bag of results. In the end I mostly opted for manually dialing down to about 4000k or cooler and adding a mild blue gel to the shoot through brolly light. This helped to cool down the look and make it more ‘clinical’, and counteract the sickly-yellow walls, which combined with the overhead lights = a WB mare as I like to call it.
A bit more drama in the shot above, this time using stronger blue gels for a different effect. The speedlight at the back is still firing, only less power this time, and line of sight is blocked by Charlie’s head.
All in all, this was a pretty difficult shoot given the room and the nature of the mock scanner. Did I make a plastic, fake piece of equipment in a dingy 12×8 foot room with no windows look like a multi million pound MRI body scanner in a nice, clean clinical environment?
Sort of would be my honest answer 🙂
More Lighting the Lab updates on the way soon…