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Studio portrait class: short lighting, session 3

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Uncle Frank, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Last night was the 3rd meeting of the course I'm taking on studio lighting. I'm posting some of the material based on your requests, but I want to make it clear that I'm a student, not the teacher. I'll do my best to represent the teacher's instructions, but can't guarantee I'll do it accurately. You'll have to take your chances... but at least it's free :biggrin:.

    The first sessions have been about the most popular approach for studio portaits.... short lighting, aka narrow lighting, where the main (strongest) light illuminates the side of the face that is turned away from the camera.

    Last week we used a simple setup, with one strobe and a reflector. Here's the diagram and a sample result.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 256856

    I tried to replicate the effect at home, using two speedlights.

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    This week we used a more complex lighting setup. Note that after shooting with this arrangement, with the main at the left, we flipped everything around and had a session with the main at the right.

    View attachment 256859

    Next week we'll present our best shots for the chapter test, so we all had to use the same subject. The beautiful young lady is a stand-up comic, and bartered modeling time for some headshots for her portfolio.

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    After everyone in the class had a few turns, we got to watch the professor taking the headshots. It was interesting to see his priorities. After the initial setup, he spent 90% of his time making the model comfortable so he could draw her into the shoot. The result was a very engaging set of pictures.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2008
  2. Great info Frank. Thanks for sharing.
  3. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks, Frank.
  4. Some good Info !
  5. Thanks for continuing to take the time to keep us informed of the materials covered in the class.

  6. It's interesting how all the extra lighting doesn't necessarily make a much better picture - a bit like your post where you only used one light instead of two at the run that went past your house . [ not that it has anything to do with the different models in the first and second samples !]
  7. PeterRH

    PeterRH Guest

    I get what you mean Desmond, but I think that practicing techniques - which is what Frank is demonstrating here - isn't best served by comparison with producing better pictures once the techniques are mastered and finessing them to get the results you want.

    Matching mood/style and lighting may be a later part of the course (?) or it may not even play a part, though Frank would be capable of helping his fellow students through that no doubt!
  8. Agreed Frank, thanks for taking the time to do this.

  9. NJDJ


    Apr 15, 2006
    This is very helpful. Thanks for takinng the time to share these Frank.
  10. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    This is great!! Thanks!
  11. Oldtime


    Jul 5, 2006
    Durham, NC
    Thanks for sharing Frank
  12. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    Thank you Frank. Very imformative.
    so the hair light--- in the diagram it looks like it's right behind her but can't be right? Is it just out of shot?
  13. It's hard to represent the scene literally in the diagram. The hair light is about 8 feet in the air, above and behind the model. It's used as a combination hair light and kicker light.
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