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bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 04:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What would be a better light to use for bodyscapes? A monolight with or without a snoot? Softbox? Striplight?
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I tend to use a light with a 30 deg. grid. Although I've had good luck with a girdded strip light as well. A large softbox just wraps around the subject too much for my taste. It reall just depends on how much contrast your looking for.


This is Crystal shot with a monolight with 30 deg. grid.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What would be a better light to use for bodyscapes? A monolight with or without a snoot? Softbox? Striplight?
It depends on what effect you want. I have seen all of the lights you mention used effectively.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what about this monolight? http://www.adorama.com/SVFL110I.html?searchinfo=110i

and never having used something like this, i understand there is a modeling lamp, but the light is used as a flash. Since the room must be dark, will the modeling lamp stay on until the pic is taken and then automatically become a flash? how does that work?
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 04:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You got the basic idea, although the modeling light won't become the flash. There are two "bulbs" - the modeling lamp and the flash lamp. The flash lamp provides the 160 W-s of light. The modeling lamp allows you to "previsualize" the light.
My advice - a 60 W modeling light really isn't much light. The only way I could effectively see the effect of the light would be to be working in a fairly darkened room, but then my eyes are pretty shot. But 60W is still pretty faint, compared to ordinary room light levels.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-23-2010, 07:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what would be a good "starter" monolight then? I have no plans of ever doing profession photography, so it would only be used really for intimate type photos
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 02-24-2010, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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what would be a good "starter" monolight then? I have no plans of ever doing profession photography, so it would only be used really for intimate type photos
May I suggest that you go to a few camera shops in the DFW area and look at them. Every photographer has personal preferences, and your needs might not be what anyone else has.

Most camera shops have lighting set ups and you can actually see how they work.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 03-19-2010, 11:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, so i got a set of versalight 160s and one has a white umbrella and one has a silver umbrella. I cant seem to figure out how to set them for getting a bodyscape type photo. Even set on the lowest setting, the pics were coming out like all the lights are on. Should i leave the modeling lamp on or off while taking these? Room lights? I appreciate any help.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 03-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We really need more information to help you out. What where your camera settings? How did you trigger the lights? If you could post some of the resulting images it would help a lot.
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Re: bodyscape lighting
Old 03-20-2010, 10:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"Even set on the lowest setting, the pics were coming out like all the lights are on."

It probably isn't a "power" issue, but rather a control issue. Look at your pictures carefully - pay attention to the shadow and the range of brightness. Were the shadows really the same as room lighting - that is, were they placed as you'd expect from ordinary room lighting, or were they opposite your umbrella light source?

Umbrellas can make beautiful lighting, but they can also be hard to control because they can spill light easily. It sounds as if one of yours (silver) is to be used to bounce the light off the interior of the 'brelly onto the subject, while the white one could be used to bounce or perhaps to shoot through. If the latter, it'll spill light off the back as well, which will strike the walls and ceiling of your room and illuminate your model, although not necessarily the way you wish. I'll bet that's what's going on.

To avoid reflected light causing problems, you need to minimize the spill AND to prevent or minimize reflection. A large studio, with the walls and ceiling far from the subject, is one way to do that - one of the reasons shooters tend to want large studios. It's a situation where size does matter. You can also use black reflectors (which absorb light) to help control the light. And there's lots of possible accessories - grids, etc.- that modify the light to allow better control. Of course, like all passions, one can spend considerable amounts of money pursuing perfection.

I suggest you forgo using your umbrellas - either one - and start with one light. Work in a darkened room so the modeling light shows what to expect. It'll take a patient model - I've heard of using mannequins, spouses, or even oneself for this kind of thing. Take notes, too, if that kind of thing helps you learn. There are a lot of tutorials on-line as well.

Good luck. Post some results if you want more informed commentary.
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