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Studio portrait class - short lighting

Discussion in 'Formal Portraits and Weddings' started by Uncle Frank, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Tonight was my second class in studio lighting. We continued our work on short lighting, aka narrow lighting. Here's a few samples of my lab work.

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

    Ignore the catchlights in the first model's eyes. They were painted on. :eek: 

    View attachment 253925

    View attachment 253926
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2008
  2. Proof that sometimes -and in proper hands- less is more !

    Good job Frank !

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2008
  3. What exactly does the term mean ? It looks good but does it refer to using one light only with a reflector ?
  4. Hi Frank,

    Could you give us the technical details? Distance of the umbrella from subject, lens used and aperture setting, Camera mode and anything else that might help.

  5. Thanks, JP.

    Desmond, Short Lighting is when the main (strongest) light illuminates the side of the face that is turned away from the camera. You might find this article on lighting to be useful.

    Vince, the studio strobe was fired in manual mode, and its ouput was metered before I set up my camera. I shot in manual mode using the 85/1.4 portrait lens. The exif data was f/13-16 1/100 iso100. The strobe was close to the subject, as that produces the softest light.
  6. Thanks for the additional info.
  7. Question...

    What type of lighting would you suggest for this type of portrait? The lights for this image were shot through the umbrella's at 45 degrees and about 5 feet away. The photos are used for press releases/job promotions.

  8. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    Looks great to me. Good job. How long is this class?
  9. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    It's incredible how a simple set-up like that is so effective. Great post
  10. It depends on the model. Short lighting is the most popular approach, but if your subject has a skinny face, use broad lighting. In your example, the lighting is flat... the same intensity on each side of the face. I'd lower the power of one of the strobes by a stop, to get some modeling. But more importantly than the light, I would modify the pose, turning the subject's head just slightly to one side, and I wouldn't frame the shot so tightly. Unless the subject is an actor or a model, I'd think a head & shoulders presentation would be more appropriate than a headshot for press releases.
  11. Good to see you're safe and back online, Seneca! This is a full semester course, running until December. We'll cover the 4 main types of studio lighting... short, broad, butterfly, and poster. The second semester will get into more complex lighting arrangements and posing.

    The class meets once a week at the professor's off campus commercial photography studio, and is scheduled from 6PM to 10PM. But, in practice, he gives a short lecture at the start of the class, and then we break into groups and take pictures of each other. We're free to leave whenever we like.
  12. Frank, many thanks! I will definitely experiment with the other styles of lighting for these shots and crop them for head & shoulders.

    All the best,
  13. Yup, I like the higher contrast, too...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2008
  14. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA

    Frank, this is so cool. I totally wish I could have taken this class with you, but it just didn't work out for me this time. Question, was the F13-F16 because your strobe was already at it's lowest power setting and you couldn't turn it down more? Or did you all want that sort of depth of field? Very nice shots!
  15. No, it's because I was following orders. The professor set up the strobe and the posing stool. Then he metered the light, and told us what settings to dial into our cameras.

    And speaking of off-camera lighting, have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pea5e2Z5gyE
  16. Got a kick out of the video Frank. :smile: :smile:
  17. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    Very cool, I figured as much. That is some real fun I bet. Can't wait to hear more about it. I will have to watch the video at home. My work computer says it is blocked by our company filter. Geez, like I'm supposed to be working or something. We'll see who helps them next time they need a corporate portrait.
  18. KayB


    Aug 17, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    Thank you for sharing! I'd love to take a class like that.
  19. Some homework practice in short lighting... a self portrait. I used a speedlight for fill instead of a reflector, and opted for a high contrast ratio.

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

    Note: I accidentally had sensitivity set at iso800. Fortunately, the d200 is a pretty good high iso camera :wink:.

    d200 1/60s f/5.6 at 60.0mm iso800
    View attachment 253930
  20. A very informative thread Frank. Have bookmarked for reference......
    Nothing like this here in my little village of 2000 people !!
    Maybe I could start something! or hire you !!:biggrin::biggrin:
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