How I Got the Shot with Dave Montizambert

Posted by: on Jun 6, 2016

dave1Over the last 30+ years, Dave Montizambert has created images for the likes of McDonalds Foods, Motorola and Warner Brothers. His photos have garnered awards from Georgie, Lotus, Hemlock, Studio Magazine, CAPIC and Graphex. Dave is part of the Influencer Program at Adobe and is part of the beta test program for Photoshop and Lightroom.

Dave’s work and articles on photography lighting have been featured in international publications such as Professional Photographer & Digital Pro Magazine, Professional Image Maker UK, Ranger Finder USA, British Institute of Professional Photography Magazine, Photo Life in Canada and many others. For more than 20 years, Dave taught the highly anticipated five-day digital imaging and photographic lighting course at the Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, BC. He also taught a 13-week photography course at Capilano University in Vancouver, BC. Because of his engaging method of teaching as well as the unique insights he has on lighting in photography and digital manipulation, Dave is a sought after international lecturer whose in-depth talks attract photographers of all levels and specialties. Dave’s down-to-earth teaching approach helps photographers everywhere with his books—Creative Lighting Techniques for Studio Photographers and Professional Digital Photography both (Amherst Media)—as well as dozens of video tutorials that now form the core of Dave On Demand.

As one of the few photographers in the world qualified to teach Dean Collins’ lighting theories, Dave is passionate about continuing to sharing this legacy of knowledge through his new online photography tutorials.

How I Got The Shot by Dave Montizambert

Part of my early lighting training with international lighting star Dean Collins was creating multiple light source from only one light. This teaches a newbie so much more about lighting than having the advantage of many lights—making one light do the work of many by redirecting light through diffusion materials or redirecting by bouncing off reflectors makes one really learn to think and makes one really learn their craft. One of my lighting workshops, called One Light Madness, is on this subject. The images you see here are from this workshop.

I shot these images with my camera using the Tether Tools Tether Table Aero System and TetherPro USB cable to shoot tethered to my MacBook. Shooting tethered is a really great aid, it allows me to see the image on a larger screen which also allows me to zoom in to check sharpness and fine details. I find it is invaluable for teaching workshops and for working with art directors—they really get to see how the image progresses on the fly! Before Tether Tools I was always looking for tables and what-not to place my computer on, not very convenient or space efficient.

Shot 1: In the Garden

The image of the couple hanging out in the garden (played by models Emma Cartlidge of Coultish Management in Victoria BC and Aidan Maxereeux also in Victoria BC), was actually shot on an overcast day. To create the look of sunlight, I backlit them with a really old Vivitar 285 flash from the 1980’s. A lot of this flash’s light spills past our subjects and strikes the white side of a White/Gold reflector. This light then ricochets off the reflector and onto their fronts. I positioned the Vivitar so that 2 stops more light hit the back edges of the subjects than did hit their fronts. The exposure for this image was F 4 1/30th at 100iso.

 Shot 2: Emma on White

The image of Emma standing against a pure white background was also a one light setup. Emma stood in front of a white seamless backdrop (a light coloured wall would work the same). A Lightrein studio strobe was positioned so that it lights both Emma and the background at the same time. The trick here is to overexpose the background to pure white while keeping the subject correctly exposed. To do this you actually have to darken the subject by adding some diffusion material between the subject and the strobe, then compensate for the underexposed subject by turning the power of the strobe up (or you could re-adjust the camera exposure). I read change in light with my Sekonic incident flash meter so that I would know exactly how much to adjust by. I used a Chimera 4×8 foot panel frame with a white diffusion material stretched over it making sure to place it so that it only affects the light hitting Emma and not the background. This panel alters the light hitting Emma making her about 2 stops darker and since the panel creates a much larger source of illumination, creates a much softer quality of light on Emma than would the unfettered direct light from the Lightrein strobe. The exposure was F 8 1/120th at 100iso.


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