Advice on reading lighting on this photo (fashion).

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by mork_meyes, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Getting ready to do a lookbook shoot this weekend for a designer. A bit worried since I haven't seen much improvement in my work in the past year and I swear I'm about to crack if don't start getting even a little closer to the results I'm dying for.
    Anyway, enough about me my artistic plateau that no one cares about. When I was digging the other night for some inspiration, I stumbled upon Rankin Photography based out in the UK, some of you may be familiar already?
    >>The Photo
    After seeing this, I knew this was the quality of light I wanted and I knew I wasn't going to get near it with any of my Alienbees gear (no offense to Alienbees) without a lot of post, if even. If anyone wants to argue that, I'm open ears.
    My first guess was a broncolor ringflash with a soft diffuser, but since the shot is so evenly wrapped with light my second guess was a huge parabolic that I can't afford.
    Today, I went ahead and reserved my rental for a 5' Profoto Giant Silver 150 (closest thing I could get that was available for the date I needed) with matching heads, stands, sandbags, and a 1 stop diffuser to soften the light. I must say thats the quickest 200 bucks I ever spent. Going to have to sell the Xbox maybe =|


    So with that all said,... comments, suggestions, feedback, hate mail, alternative guesses?
  2. Hmm. I was going to say that it looked like the output from a large, gridden octobox-ish sort of thing high and camera left, with some gentle fill from closer to the camera position (though I don't think that has to be a ringlight, doing that fill).

    I'm worried that your big shiny umbrella might not produce the soft wrap-around you're after.
  3. Have to agree with Matt - also there's some very skilled background burning going on.
    I would set up the shoot beforehand and make absolutely sure you can produce the look you're after.
    No time for that with a client.
  4. Hm, maybe I'll cancel then. What would be bad about going for it though? Not worth it?
    And gary, you think the shading on the background is all photoshop?
  5. Of coarse it's PS - If you're not ready to shoot it there's nothing wrong with stepping aside.
    You must be completely confident with your skills, equipment and concept before placing yourself at creative risk. The fact that you're asking these questions indicates that you haven't had an opportunity to ring out the variety of light sources that are required to execute the job. If you've ever embarrassed yourself by over-reaching, believe me the pain lingers.
    On the other hand - what's to stop you from getting a damn umbrella and figuring the ratios out.
  6. I'm ready to shoot it, I just like to make a fuss of everything. I suppose whether or not I get that look doesn't really matter to the client, but it does to me. Anyway, thanks for giving the time to give some input. Cheers.
  7. I too think it's either a big softbox at camera left (quite a bit to the left) and a bit higher than the model and maybe a reflector to even out the light on camera right. The shadow on the wall I would create either with a gobo (basically anything that can cut light going that way - a black piece of cardboard should do it) - I would not spend time doing that in PS when it's so easy to do during shooting.
    Don't know what power your Alienbees are, but to tell you the truth, I could possibly do this shot using just my Speedlights and my softboxes. This is a fully controlled environment and the simple addition of sufficient light can solve all your problems. It's not as if you're shooting outside and trying to overpower the midday sun.
  8. I agree. Nothing the AB's can't handle without the right light modifier(s). For what the rental might cost you, you could get one of AB's giant folding softboxes and a grid to go with it. Handle the rest with flags/reflectors (even if it's just large sheets of foam core).
  9. hi Mork,
    i believe there were 2 light sources... look at the table legs and the angle of shadow over there and compare it with the angle of shadow that her leg/s throw... so my guess is it was a large softbox on her and table (look how soft the shadow is under the table) and then very close to big softbox there was another light for her face/head (shadow under nose is quite harsh) but also your burn on the wall. and i would say that could be either smaller gridded softbox or some large reflector (beauty dish or something)... my 2 cents...
  10. A 6 foot AB parabolic produces that fall off/ shadow so not much work needed in post. Will produce this even at 16 feet per my wall test. I see only one large round source casting upper wall shadow and both leg and table leg shadows. Table top shadow near floor shows light height slightly to camera L. I cant see her eye clearly, but appears catch light is about 12 oclock so 6 foot parabolic could get around to the hair on left side of her face. Right half of table is brighter than left half. Not sure if that is from post d&b or fill. Thats my guess.
  11. My guess, probably two lights, one big diffuse light about 30 degrees to camera left and high with a downward angle. Second smaller more direct light on her face, higher and further camera left, but at this size the effect is subtle to the point of being possible in post. Post was done to the left of image, so spill went out to left, right side is pretty natural though. Shadow of table legs and top tell exactly where main source is. The eye sockets and nose shadows show where the second source, if there is one, is. The falloff on the left is inconsistent with the light and with the right side as well, so I'd put money on just the left as major burning to bottom left and vignetting to top left.
    It is easy to set up and replicate though, just get a table and a corner and adjust a big light to match the table shadows and adjust the models facial shadows in post if they are not exact. Note there is a decent gap between the table and the back wall.

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