Monday, May 13, 2013
Five Classic Lighting Recipes
Five tried-and-true lighting styles for effective portraits
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Next, I have my subject move sideways towards the camera until they are just past the edge of the light. The softbox looks like it is aimed behind my subject, but in reality the light will just clip the side of my subject's face. If your subject moves closer to the softbox, you will lose the rim lighting effect. I like to experiment with hand positions, jewelry and eyeglasses; these aspects make great rim light portraits. In post-processing I often boost the contrast of these shots to make the lighting more dramatic.
4 CLAMSHELL LIGHTING
Have you ever seen a beauty shot where the subject seems so vibrant and lively it really catches your eye? I constantly embarrass my family at the checkout line in the grocery store. I'm the guy staring at the bikini model on the magazine cover trying to see what catchlights are in her eyes and what lighting technique was used. More often than not, clamshell lighting is the technique being used.
I use two clamshell techniques. The simplest way to create this beauty lighting is to use a softbox as your overhead light, and a silver or white reflector from below aimed up at your subject. Place the reflector as close to your subject as you can, so it reflects plenty of light from the overhead softbox.
I really like to use a silver reflector here. Silver produces a shiny, specular light that works well to balance the light from the softbox. If the reflected light is too intense, I will lower the reflector. A Lastolite Trilite does an excellent job as well with clamshell lighting. This reflector system uses three angled reflectors aimed up at your model, filling in shadows and producing dramatic catchlights.
The other style of clamshell lighting I like is using two square softboxes, one aimed from above and the other from below. I leave a small gap between the boxes as a shooting window. Using two strobes allows me to adjust power quickly and change the ratio of my clamshell lighting. I often set the bottom light at lower power than the overhead light to avoid strong underlighting effects.
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