"Money" lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by ny, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. ny


    Hello, here is my recent "Money" photo

    I am looking to improve aesthetics/lighting of it. The model is
    right next to the wall and I have 3 tungsten heads, two large
    softboxes and 1 barndoor to choose from. The room is pretty small
    and the ceiling is low, window is too far :( Is there anything I
    can do to make this better? Natasha
  2. Hello Natasha

    When I photograph my violins I use four lamps all at a shallow angle and that gives me a shadowless photo without too much heat. I think that your shot needs alot more than 4 little lamps, but still the principle is the same. I think if the placement of the lights you have is equal and balanced then you will be able to acheive a shadowless photo, assuming that's what you want. Going the other way you could go really moody and just use the barn door....

  3. Hi, the distance between the model and the money is critical. If you increase the ditance a little you will get a shadowless effect more easily. Of course, since the model is chained to the money that is not possible. So, it seems like you need to flood the scene with light. I would be tempted to go for a shadowy dark look, I think the shadows cast over the money would look cool, giving the money some character. On the other hand, is money a projected image or backdrop of some kind?

  4. Hi Natasha

    I couldn't link up to the image so I went to your gallery to get to your image, to me there's always the idea, and then the execution of that idea, which is why I don't prefer to do nudes, but I can appreciate that kind of subject matter when it works as a picture.

    I looked at your gallery since I was there, I looked at all your pictures, so I'll approach this from the backdoor, the best image in the gallery to me, the image that seemed to be right, in terms of composition/framing/direction/lighting/execution is the shot 'Legs', she could be doing anything, relaxing for a moment, daydreming, her position in the frame, her 'body English', everything flows.

    Whatever she's doing, the pose and attitued looks natural, nothing forced, nothing stiff, no sense of contrivance even though I know it's a staged shot, but like all stages shots, if they're executed well enough, I don't care, I can still enjoy the shot.

    So in terms of an idea, and an even better execution of that idea, 'Legs' to me is an excellent shot in terms of a nude, that works not only as a nude, but has values in addition to that.

    I can see the idea behind 'Legs', and the execution to me says you hit it 'right on the money', in terms of 'money' I don't get that same feeling. You've asked a question about 'money' so there must be a concern in your mind about the image, in terms of making it better, could I ask you about the idea behind the shot? By the way, I think your work has a lot of sensitivity and feeling.
  5. ny


    Hi, I think the lighting of "money" needs to make the shot as clear, and geometrically simple as possible. I also want to give it a photo-journalism look - simple uniform contrasty background and I would like to see nude work together with it and not stand out in tones as much - so I guess I could use very contrasty filters in printing to get rid of her grays a bit more. Does this help?
  6. Sounds like the way to go,

  7. Here's what I see, she's got beautiful hair, the hair looks even nicer if its even on both sides of her breast, her head is leaning forward and its creating a muddy shadow on her face, and I think you should reconsider the pose/placement of her arms which looks a bit stiff.

    Your model is an elegant looking woman, but the pose is not complimenting her body type, what I'm saying in all of this after listening to your input about the shot, is that it's still a good idea that you might need to execute another way with different lighting placement/another type of pose, one more thing, and I have no idea of what you could o about it, is the orientation of the shot and the money going 'crosswise, maybe another juxtaposition might be considered.

    I hope this gives you some ideas Natasha, and most of all, good luck.
  8. Do you want this flat appearance or would you rather have more visual separation between the model and the background?

    Most of the other photos, taken against a black background, show more conventional use of modeling light to define the shape of the figure. This is absent in the photos with the money background.

    Assuming you actually want more definition and separation, I'd suggest some very careful use of directional lighting and shading to prevent light from spilling over onto other others.

    Of course, this gets into more complicated and expensive equipment, such as grids or honeycombs on the softboxes.

    You might be able to achieve some separation with what you already have by using something as a hairlight. Also, I'd be inclined to bias most of the lighting to one side or the other. You don't need to give up the entire "flat" effect and stick with the usual stuff, but as it is something about it just isn't quite working nearly as well as your other very good work against black or light backgrounds, elsewhere in your photo.net folder.
  9. This lighting doesn't have a punch. To improve your lighting you need to have a source or combination of sources that are soft enough but have the impact. This is in my opinion success in lighting. Or make the light really soft or very hard. Here it looks for me like done in a metro station.
  10. Interesting shot Natasha. I came across this one earlier and tried to figure out what was being said in the photo. I like the idea! But not sure about the elements of the shot. Meaning the body positioning and the mood of the shot lighting wise. I think to soft or too hard will only achieve contrast differences. Try a Hitchcock approach to the lighting. Simple effective. I don't think the money needs to have the same exposure values across the frame. Infact I think as above auggested that the money could benfit from mood lighting and the model benefiting from deliberate but subtle spot lighting. I don't know but fun to figure out for sure! Good luck your work is really nice

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