Studio shoot - two lights, one backdrop

Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
109
Location
Glorious, Sunny New Jersey, USA
Did a shoot a couple weeks ago in a studio so small that you couldn't THINK ABOUT swinging a cat. So small that other than ultra-close head shots, I spend 90% of my time on the short end of my 28-70 zoom, not the most flattering. White walls, white floor.

Hung a white backdrop. Put one 600WS Elinchrom behind the backdrop with a white umbrella as reflector to blow-out light the backdrop and minimize any spill on the models (since I don't own barn doors yet, and I couldn't get them very far away from the backdrop anyhow.) One front light, a 1200WS Elinchrom, set down two stops, inside of a Photek octagonal softbox. As close as I could find to the legendary Elinchrom Octabox ($990) for what I could afford ($120.) It gives a really nice smooth light, with lovely shadow fall off edges, and round eyelights. Something about rectangular eyelights makes me crazy. It's also not horribly flat, although in such a confined space, it's hard to get shadows of any sort since the light bounces around like mad. (See the highlights on the sides of faces? If I let the models stray too far back, their faces got lit from the backdrop.)

Here's how this simple setup played out in a range of shots of different sorts.

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So there I learned, too small white boxes make for very little light control. The Photek softbox is lovely lighting for people even if they are wearing very little makeup, and makes nice eye lights.

Comments, anyone?

This weekend, bigger studio, more space between models and white backdrop, and hopefully more control over lighting.
 
D

Danny Lee

Guest
Looks like you are doing well. I would keep some shadows in the full lengths around the feet so the people dont look like they are floating.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
4,741
Location
SE Florida
All things considered,

They look very good, Ed. Think you're right about the difficulty in getting any decent shadows in such a confined area. Are these for their portfolio or for a print ad of some kind? That comment about a space being so small you couldn't swing a cat really cracked me up! :) Agree w/Danny about trying to keep some shadows around the feet in the full length shots so they don't appear to be floating. Pretty amazing you had to stop down to f14 too. (used my IE EXIF Viewer) Please keep them coming, and giving your great descriptions! ;)
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
109
Location
Glorious, Sunny New Jersey, USA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
steve, you have no idea how small

i just did a shoot in another studio in philly, and i was able to do group scenes, four together, without any problem at all.

yes, i was at f14, and that was after dialing my main light down two stops!

Will be putting up some stuff from the recent shoot, which from a lighting perspective turned out to be a lesson in "how should you set your lights up so that the models can just play, and you don't have to keep moving the lights around..."
 
D

david casius

Guest
great shots

Great results for such a small room. I will give this a try, but will probably be at f2.8 as my lights are not very strong at all.

Thanks
 
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