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Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-09-2004, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone,

I found this image (either here or onemodelplace) and thought I would try to achieve the subtle fall off of light. I have been working all night to duplicate it. I can tell it is only one light that is up high and camera right. When I tried my softbox at 45 degree from camera the angle was not dramatic enough and both shoulders were illuminated. When I moved it to 90 degrees from camera, about two feet from subject, the background lit up to much and the fall off was still not as smooth. In order to get light on the far shoulder, the close shoulder would be blown out.

I also tried my snoot coming over the shoulder into a reflector and still couldn't achieve it.

Where was the light, how far from the model, any modifier, reflector,etc.

Any ideas!

Thanks
-Eric
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 12:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say it looks like a fairly directional softbox - perhaps with a honeycomb grid over it. Remember the basic rule of light, the closer it is to the subject, the more if falls off. To lower the contrast and get more even coverage, back it off. In this case I think you have your light in too close. Try backing it off a bit to say 4'. If the background starts to show up, that's easily solved by moving the model farther from the background and/or using a dark (black?) background to begin with, or possibly flagging it off. Also avoid the temptation to pump the contrast in a shot like this. This is a fairly full-toned image, some would say a bit dark on the skin (a little too much detail in the skin for my taste, unless it gets retouched), but notice the highlights - the dress, which was probably not white to start with because a white dress would have blown out. For this look, I used to use yellow or light blue clothes instead of white, because the clothes would inevitably become the whitest thing in the shot.

In this shot of Pamela Anderson from many years ago, she is almost wearing a powder-blue jacket, which is still washing out a bit (I do like pumped contrast, but would have preferred some detail here). But notice her skin, which was tan. As I said, the white would become too white and be distracting. I had to lights working here. One big (3.5'x8') softbox to her left for the main (no grid) about 4 or 5 feet away, and a plain reflectored flash head on the background aiming off to one side. You can see the light on her opposite shoulder and its still not blowing out her blonde hair. This was shot on Polaroid B/W slide film for the grainy look (and because it was "in" back then).



Just keep playing with it, you'll get it!

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 02:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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To me this shot does not look like it was done with a softbox. It looks like about a 16" parabolic high and to camera right. Probably with barndoors to cantrol the spill. But I'm still learning and I'm probably wrong!
Mark Harper
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
To me this shot does not look like it was done with a softbox. It looks like about a 16" parabolic high and to camera right. Probably with barndoors to cantrol the spill

[/ QUOTE ]

Mark,

Look at the shadow from her nose and from her left breast. See how the edge is not a sharp line but rather a fuzzy transition from light to dark (most noteable on her sternum)? While that doesn't necessarily tell us it was a softbox, it does give us a pretty good indication that it wasn't direct light (which is what I think you were saying, yes?) Also, check out the catchlights in her eyes... if you zoom in a bit, you'll see the catchlight appears to be rectangular in shape...

Wayne


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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Eric,

Well, here's my guess, for what it's worth...

The softer transition of the shadow from her nose and on her sternum from her left breast makes me believe it's a wider and indirect light source.. softbox.. maybe even a windowlight. The catchlights in her eyes reinforce that suggestion... they're pretty much rectangular in shape, though the pixelization doesn't let you see too much detail when you zoom in.

Then, the shadow of the strand of hair on the left eyebrow and the shadow from her blouse onto her sternum suggests that it wasn't 90 degrees off to her left, but probably something a bit less... 60-70 degrees, maybe? Anything more would probably throw more shadow onto her right eye.

Andy nailed it on the background, I think... a dark background to begin with and she's not right up next to it, either.

Wish you remembered where you found it... would like to see some more of this photog's work. BTW - nice images on YOUR web site, as well!

Wayne
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 10:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Eric, this is a vertical softbox on the left up of the model at almost 45°. This kind of light is called "rembrant".
With the modeling light of the studio flash you can easily control the light before the shot.
Background is black! But, on the right side of the model at 45° you should use a black pannel which will not reflect any light on the model.
Also, note that the exposure is not an average between black tones and white tomes. To make the photo darker like this one, you should calculate the exposure on the lighted skin.

Hope I was of help to you.
Marco

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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 10:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Since the top of her head is cut off(not a bad thing here), you wouldn't be able to see if she had her back against an outside corner(the pointy part) of a wall. We always think of back grounds as being flat and parallel to the film plane. If she was backed up to an outside corner, no light would fall onto the background to her right. The cropping is so close you don't see what back ground is on her left.

Heck, she could even be in a doorway. Just my thoughts as I am still learning. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

Joe
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-10-2004, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There are as many ideas as there are lighting schemes. What's confusing me is the Rembrandt lighting that shows on her face--the nose shadow and highlight on her right cheek--yes, but what is confusing is the shadow of her breast that is thrown HORIZONTALLY to her sternum. Now that's confusing. Two lights? I dunno, but I'm interested in somebody's coming up with the answer to that.
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Re: Can someone help with light setup
Old 10-12-2004, 06:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No, that shadow is normal with that kind of light, it depends form the position of the bust of the model and from the size of her breast.
Also, to enhance the breast, you can even use the make-up or the photoshop.
Anyway in this case there is only one light.
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