Valentine’s Day Black Light Photoshoot
Video created with the help of Animoto.
Thanks also to Tiffany May Photography who collaborated on this project, providing much inspiration, creativity and assistance!
For the background, we used “Super White” seamless paper, available from Savage or B&D. It glows blue under black light. We cut different sized hearts out of pink fluorescent bristol board and hung them from the studio’s ceiling with fishing line. We set up four 48 inch 40 watt fluorescent black light tubes – one on each side of Rachel, one overhead and the fourth on the floor to surround the model with black light.
Here’s what the setup looked like (the fourth tube on the floor is not shown):
Skin tends to look very dark under black light, so to help make the model’s face more visible, we positioned a White Lightning X800 strobe with a grid in front of the model, and for some the shots we used a hand-held white LED flashlight to light the model’s face. We also used a white disk reflector, which gave off a blue glow, to help light the model.
Initially, I used ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/25th second exposure with a Sigma 30mm lens. I then wanted to get some shots with a longer focal length so I switched to my 50-200 mm using ISO 200 and 1/10 sec at f/2.8. I used a tripod and a cable release to minimized unwanted motion blur. I wanted to minimize noise by using the lowest ISO that I could get away with. Depending on your camera, you may be comfortable going to higher ISO and faster shutter speeds.
I used Lightroom 3.3 to adjust the colours, exposure, noise reduction, and some local brush adjustments. I completed the editing in Photoshop CS4 – mainly retouching and removing the visible fishing lines that the hearts were attached to.
Check out my previous posts about black light photography if you are interested in seeing more!
Valentine’s Day Black Light slideshow: