In this recent Slanted Lens post, Jay P. Morgan had a photo-shoot out at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona to get shots of fighter pilot Josh “Chunk” Moffet with his F-16. In this video, you’ll see how his lighting techniques served to compress the dynamic range for fantastic results.
The first obstacle we had to deal with was the plane facing the direction opposite of what I wanted and not being able to move it. In choosing the best angle to photograph the F-16 in this position, it would have had me looking into the sun. I needed to light the shadow side of the jet with 400 watt strobes. Not an easy task. Oh yeah, did I mention it was 105 degrees Fahrenheit outside?
This is our first image with just the ambient light. My plan was to set three strobe heads to light the jet fighter and one head to light the pilot.
The first head would be dedicated be to lighting our fighter pilot. I used radio slaves for the the heads. The light was comprised of a FlexFlash 400W head with a small OctoDome attached. Here is our image with the first light.
Here’s what the setup looked like around the pilot.
I moved to the front of the jet and took some additional shots. These turned out great when I applied a Nik effect on them afterward. I took the image and added dark contrast and used subtraction points to remove 70% of the effect from the pilot’s face and body. I then added straight contrast and desaturated the image.
To see more of Jay P. Morgan's work, visit his Pro Showcase page.