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davidsantangelo

Light It Up



First time playing with black light and fluorescent paint. Would love some feedback!

First time playing with black light and fluorescent paint. Would love some feedback!
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Behind The Lens

Location
This was taken at the model's home studio. They're a fulltime cosplay model, and had setup a blacklight room for fun self portraits. We used that room along with other creative props to get the vibe for this session.
Time
We started shooting this set around 2PM and played around until 7pm. This setup was just too much fun, and we kept thinking of bew ideas and different things to try out. An absolute joy of a session.
Lighting
For lighting we had 4 fluorescent blacklight tubes hung onto the ceiling for actual blacklight to coat the room without illuminating anything we dodnt want to. We also used a 4ft led strip light underneath a couch to light the floor and give atmospheric glow to the fog. The last light was a UV LED panel held off to the side to illuminate more of the paint speckled onto the model.
Equipment
I used my Nikon D850 for this shoot, with a 35mm lens. We had a few different colors of fluorescent body paint speckled on the model's top half, and glow-in-the-dark fishnet stockings for the lower half. We also used glow-in-the-dark balloons to fill in gaps of the scene.
Inspiration
My model Dan had recently installed his blacklight tubes and really wanted to play around with them. So it was really a session of exploration to see what we could get. This photo in particular was me trying to frame his face as the focal point of the shot, and in post I added elements to bring more focus to the face while adding atmosphere.
Editing
The largest amount of post processing came with adding the fog element. I have a fog machine that I wanted to use but I had forgotten to bring it with me that day, so I had to emulate ot afterward. The original shot has my model on his knees, raised up on a black couch. His legs were surrounded by glowing balloons, and under the couch had an led strip light shining through the bottom and top gaps. The balloons and led strip provided a great lighting base to add fog in the way I'd hoped to use it practically. I composited multiple fog elements over the balloons to cover the legs, and used the glow and tones of the balloon and strip light to blend things in more. I used a mask around the model so it seemed like the fog had pooled around him and he was coming out of it. Adding the fog was a great way to fill the scene while helping the model stand out.
In my camera bag
I always carry my Nikon D850 and my 35, 50, 85, and 105mm lenses. As much as I would love to get the golden trifecta of high end zoom lenses (12-24, 24-70, 70-200) these primes have never failed me. I also have a wireless trigger and flash system, as well as my basic travel tripod. Occasionally I'll bring an external monitor and/or a laptop, but that's only for film or studio setups.
Feedback
Play, play, play. Just play around and experiment with different elements and props. This was my first time playing with blacklight so it was a great opportunity to find all the different shots we could get with the props we had available. The fun doesnt stop with the capture though, dont be afraid to play more in post either. Adding fog really helped complete this image, and I wouldnt have been able to create this had I been married to what came out of the camera.

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