Return of the zombies

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

So I have been looking forward to the zombie shoot for months. Literally. I had so much to consider in the planning this shoot, I mean the precedent for zombie art is huge. There are so many different styles and takes on zombies, starting with Night of the Living Dead, and moving forward exponentially, particularly in recent years.

To plan what I wanted to do I started with the zombies of my minds eye, no research. Then went through countless images looking for recent and past works of zombies. After that I spoke with my MUA Monika about what she intended to do with the makeup, which has a huge influence on the lighting design.

When I think zombies I think green and red. The green of decomp and the startling ruby red of fresh blood. I didn’t want the makeup aspect to completely overwhelm the imagery and the subject (A BRIDE for gosh sakes) and I knew Monika had the right balance of natural with prosthesis and gore. She designed the shoot, first the bride is attacked by the flower girls, then she is bitten, her leg knawed on, then she attacks the groom, tears off his arm. It was a progressive makeup shoot, in which, in standard wedding tradition, the groom did a lot of waiting for his beautiful bride. As well, it was important our bride, even though a zombie, was still beautiful. She is a bride…so we went with ‘fresh zombie’ instead of three-day-old zombie.

Besides the fact that there was such a great deal of fun involved and really, Cory and Abby are such a fantastically awesome couple, we really had a good idea of the plan going on. I worked on the lighting design using a new studio lighting design planner I got for my iPad. There are some things about it I don’t like as much, but for general ideas of lighting design it works really quite well.

These are the sketches I came up with.

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

SLR Studio light rigger app iPad

All setups are similar. Once I decided on my colors I really only had to figure out my tools and placement. I used two background strobes with gel filters in green and magenta, a sidelight, also with a green filter, a beauty dish and a strip box. The sidelight wasn’t in the plan, I added it once in studio.

I love that I can look at the subject from any angle, as well I can change the subject from a full mannequin to a headshot, (not shown). I wish I could change the size of the softbox, I have a rather large octabox, and a strip box shows up very differently from the standard large softbox provided in the software. The other missing option is a ringflash, which I also use fairly often.

My greatest desire in using this app to design the light was to figure out the placement of the different gelled lights in relation to the models so I could create the proper lighting shadows and color tones without spending too much time messing around in studio, for that it was highly successful.

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