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Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 12:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
SteveZ
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Can anybody recommend some basic lighting patterns for shooting glamour? As a newbie at this I need all the help I can get. It would really be helpful if you could post some of your shots and describe the lighting set up in your studio. Thanks!
 
 
Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 08:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is a picture of the lovely Lindsey. To my left is a strobe with a softbox with a 40 degree grid on it. It is the photoflex Halfdome2 with a soft grid attached. Behind the wall is a smaller strobe with a color gel on it to give a lamp light effect. To the right and a bit behind her is another strobe with a grid on it to use as a hair light.

The Softbox was up close to the model so as to soften the shadows on her face. I could have used a 4th light close to me and to my right to help lighten up the shadows behind her but the main concentration is the model not the wall behind her.

I hope this helps you.

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Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Steve:

Every photo should have some hightlights, some midtones, and some shadows, if you want some depth or 3 dimensional looks.

A lot of light all around (nice and even) is "flat" and looks boring.

The real trick is making good use of the shadows and hightlights.

Once you get the hang of setting up lights to give a nice even flat light on the model, then you can move on to hair lights and rim lights.

Working with a single light can be very helpful in seeing where your are creating shadows.

A high contrast image with lots of shadows can be very dramatic if the shadows are in the right place, but look very amateurish if the shadows are in the wrong place.

Watch the shadow being thrown by the nose and the ckeekbones in particular.

A simple light set up, is one softbox high and to the left.

The shadow from the nose should be pushed downward towards the crease of the mouth. If you push it down too far and it starts to cover the lip, it looks funny. If the light is too low and the shadow just runs crossways across the cheek, it again looks bad. But there is a medium spot in between where the nose shadow drops down and to the right and it helps accentuate the natural shape of the cheek.

When done right, they call it Rembrandt lighting.

One of the most important things you can do when you are first learning is get the model away from the wall or background so the main lights aren't throwing shadows onto the back wall or backdrop. While some back shadow can look nice (again if done right) in most cases people see a back shadow as a bad thing.

If you can get the model 8-10 feet from the background, it really helps (that or use another light to seperately light the background. It still is helpfull to have the model away from the wall.

If you use the right lense and aperature, the distance also helps with the background going blury as it will start to fall out of the area of sharp focus, which again helps with the 3d look.

There's no magic perfect formula, just pay attention to where the shadows are.

The biggest mistake I see with newbies is bad shadows.

Mark
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Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Simple...

One 30x40 softbox against the white wall, at arm's length from me, barely out of frame, centered (in vertical orientation) at Laurie's eye level. I *think* for this shot, her husband was holding a 42" gold reflector to my left and behind me so that the shadows behind her were less pronounced than they could have been.




Less simple...

Two 30x40 softboxes stacked one above the other (vertical orientation, bottom edge of bottom box is between Carlene's knee and ankle level), arm's length away from me to my left. Also, two open reflector lights, one on each side at waist level lighting the background at roughly 38 degree angles into the set.





Complex (for me)...

Jodi is looking at a 30x40 softbox (mainlight) in horizontal orientation, her thigh is roughly pointed at a gold umbrella laying on the floor, there is another gold umbrella high and to the left of the image, and there is a 100 watt incandescent bulb in an amber glass fixture hanging above and behind her. It seems like there was another gold umbrella to the far right of the image as well, but I've slept since then and can't remember for certain.

Hope this helps "shed some light!" Ark, ark, ark...

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Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, Paul. Yes, this help alot. One question for you: when you say you have a 40 degree grid on your softbox, are you referng to a honeycomb grid on the front of the strobe?
 
 
Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, a honeycomb grid that is made out of material instead of plastic. It velcros onto the front of the softbox. And makes it easier to carry when your traveling.
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Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, Jon, yes, it does shed some light. I like the high key shot # 2 and find it interesting that you've stacked the softboxes vertically.
 
 
Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Interesting. I never knew those modifiers existed until now.
 
 
Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yep, they exists and work very well to concentrate your light where you want without a lot of spill. I do not know if Rolando does workshops in your area but if you can afford it then you should go to one. he explains things very well.
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Re: Glamour Lighting Basics
Old 11-21-2004, 07:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had to stack the boxes for that set because A) there wasn't enough room available there to back away far enough to get even full-length light from one box and B) I didn't have a bigger "strip" box with me.

Cheers!

Here's another from that set.

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