Another post in my series about motivated lighting in cool locations – this time I went out to the surfer’s locale Shonan to photograph a story about the NOA, which is a cool invention that could possibly save your life in the case of a deadly tsunami. It’s basically a fiberglass, watertight shelter that sits in your home, which serves as a backup refuge in case you don’t have time to reach high ground. They’re made to float and are painted yellow to be highly visible even amidst piles of debris, so you can be quickly recovered by rescue teams in the aftermath of a disaster. 3/11/11 was a brutal reminder to the Japanese that the forces of nature that created their homeland are also just as capable of destruction, so there’s a lot of renewed interest in inventions like these. In the case of the NOA, it may help save the lives of the elderly or people who otherwise might not have time to reach the high ground in the case of a tsunami.
The factory where they get constructed is possibly one of the neatest locations I’ve photographed at – it was completely unique, authentic and had plenty of great light coming in through windows. The kind of place that I want to hire out for a shoot for the whole day. Ichikawa-san however didn’t have all day, so I settled for a flexible two light setup for the shot below. For the main light I used a Westcott double fold shoot-thru umbrella to mimic the light coming through the factory door on camera left, and for the rim light I used an SB-900 in a Honl snoot to simulate the light coming through the narrow window at camera right. The trick with motivated lighting is not to copy exactly what you see, but to light the scene in a way that it makes sense. Your brain sees the light and can connect it to the other sources in the room.
Anyway, here’s the same setup, but with Ichikawa-san moved to the left of the frame, in case it’s easier for the designers somehow.
For the shot below I gelled an SB-800 orange and clamped it inside the foreground NOA to mimic the worklight you can see in the rightmost NOA.
Keeping the SB-800 clamped inside I made Ichikawa-san climb inside for a shot. I lit him using a snooted, orange-gelled SB-900, which was necessary to keep light from hitting the whole NOA, and also to avoid unwanted reflections.
Here’s the same setup from the side (and probably my favorite shot from the series):
Hope you enjoyed that post, will put more up soon!