I had a lot of fun creating this messy portrait. Very messy. There was flour everywhere afterwards – it is amazing how far white powder goes with a little hair flick! Thank you to the wonderfully willing and totally game Katie, without whom this picture would not have been possible.
I have seen these sort of pictures on line in the past, but whenever I have looked into how they have been taken, they have always been shot in a massive dance studio with (expensive) professional lighting.
Could it be done successfully on the cheap? I wanted to find out...
I managed to find a willing victim.... I mean model.... through a post on FB, bought lots of flour, and set about trying to work out how to take this.
This shot was so far outside my comfort zone it felt like a foreign country, but thankfully I had a lot of mentoring from my friend Ian (who nagged me relentlessly) regarding the flash gun.
I didn't have a room big enough to set up this shot, so I turned the patio into an outdoor studio and prayed for a dry, wind-less evening. My prayers were answered.
Along one side of the patio I set up my black backdrop. I used two of David's car inspection lamps (one directly behind Katie); two LED video lights and my flash gun (all covered in cling film to stop the fine powder getting in and damaging the electronics).
I had David try it out first, before Katie came over, just so that I had some idea about what I would need to do. Obviously he was unable to flick his hair, so he just used his hand to throw some flour in the air.
Using a long lens so that I could stand far enough away from the flying flour, I got my beautiful assistants (David and Katie's aunt Julie) to sieve flour over Katie's hair, for her then to flick it backwards.
Katie was an absolute natural, and I really was beyond pleased with how these pictures turned out, way better than my wildest imagination!
Camera Canon EOS 5D IV
Camera Canon EOS 5D IV
Lens Canon 100-400mm Mk II
Focal length 100mm
Shutter Speed 1/1000 second
Flash Triopo TR-982 II
Flash setting ETTL 1/1 HSS fired remotely via a Wansen trigger
Minimal post processing in Photoshop CS5, mainly just darkening the shadows and brightening the highlights plus generally tidying up the image.