In the throes of a nor’easter that pasted our hometown overnight, I find myself thinking of this time last year, roughly, shooting fashion on the streets of Milan.

It was a fast-paced day, in that amazing city, where fashion is on a pedestal and even the early morning cafe crowd seems inclined to dress for the occasion. For most of the shoot, we basically tried to make small flash look big by playing it through large light shapers, such as the Lastolite Skylite Rapid above, and the 4 in 1 umbrella, below.

“ I have fond memories of the day, as I look out at the sheet of ice that is my driveway. ”

Simple approach here. A 24′ Lastolite EzyBox fitted with a fabric grid to kill spill. It’s just about eye level, giving a bit of an evening glow to the light, and matching the subtle light in the cafe. These are all good, collapsable rigs you can tote with you on a multi-location day in a hectic city. Not too much weight, and when played right, an excellent quality of light. For the technically minded, the camera of choice for all the above was the Nikon D810. Indoor cafe shot was with the 35mm f1.4, and the 70-200mm f2.8.

Fefa is also a mural painter, and when we arrived at one of her creations, it was also slammed with noonday light. (The days of lounging by the pool with an exotic, umbrella festooned cocktail, waiting for the arrival of “golden hour” are over, if they in fact ever existed. Budgets and time demands being what they are, you just work, no matter the condition of the light.)

In this case, a silk went up. Hard, unworkable light became directional and lovely. All it needed was a small pop through an umbrella to open the eyes a bit. The silk leaves you with a quantity of light to deal with, as opposed to the solid, which gives you much more control.

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