David Iliyn shot a gorgeous outdoor night portrait of an upright bassist posing with his instrument. Here, in [this piece] presented by Michael Zhang—popularly praised for posting prolifically at PetaPixel—is the story behind how he pulled it off.
David Iliyn turns out to be a jocular sort of fellow—the kind of guy you’d enjoy having a couple of beers with while shooting plastic dinosaurs from the tops of fenceposts. And in this six-minute video, he details the equipment and the setup that went into what ended up as a really cool portrait. Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights of his presentation. Meet the $35 Godox VT560! Well, twelve of them.
Let’s start with snoots. You know what snoots are: the tubes or cones you use to shape the light emitted by your flash. On this shot, Iliyn used four real (Opteka) ones, supplemented with a few homemade cardboard ones he fashioned out of the Amazon box the flashes arrived in. Pretty crafty there, Iliyn.
This project requires, as it turns out, 48 batteries—“if I did the math right,” he appends apologetically.
Iliyn placed his 12 flashes in a variety of positions relative to the subject, and aimed them variously at the ground, at Mister Bassist himself, and up into the trees behind the subject.
The Godox is an inexpensive flash, and Iliyn was impressed with how well his performed. These Godox flashes can be scored online for about $35.00 each, which means—a moment please, we’re doing this on our fingers—you can get a dozen for 420 bucks.
“Kudos to Godox for creating a really, really cheap affordable flash,” said Iliyn. “If you need something like a backup, this would definitely be the flash.”