Specific Lighting and Studio Set up

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by dansanaa, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Hi all,
    I have recently had a client ask me to do something like this (old ad campaign).
    I will have some time to test it out but do you guys have any ideas or tips?
    I usually use more simple lighting set ups, so any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!

    Images removed. Do not post images that you have not made.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2021
  2. Well, fashion is something I've never done, so take this with a grain of salt. It looks like a young Carolyn Murphy, so probably mid-1990s or so; a time when digital retouching was readily available. So you should figure that a great deal of hand work was done.

    A brief note on the background... it looks like a large bluish background, blown out to white behind the subject. This could be done by the use of background lights directed behind the subject. And then digitally removed from the scene. Or... perhaps the background effects are completely done digitally. Maybe. Fwiw pro color neg films have a tremendous latitude for overexposure so this would have been no problem in that day. Shooting it today, on a digital camera, you'd likely be clipping on the sensor, so would likely have to fix the tonal transitions. Or maybe not... it just depends.

    On the lighting, in general... it looks like a couple of fairly large light sources, fairly high and off to the sides of the camera. Look at the green-skirt photo, paying attention to the shadows under the lower lip and under the tips of the collar for clues as to the size and location of these two lights. It look like "kicker" lights used to some extent; these would be located somewhat behind and above the subject, and used to give some glancing reflections off the subject. There don't seem to be any deep shadows; could be an overall large fill light, or even just a result of large amounts of spill light in a light-colored studio, white paper on the floor, etc.

    The curious desaturated skin colors were probably done in the digital retouching afterwards. And some of the skin highlights were added/manipulated the same way. There used to be a guy on this website who did digital retouching during fashion shoots, and would give some basic instructions here. I can probably find some of those for you if needed. You should probably figure to put more time into the retouching than the shooting. Best of luck with your project.
  3. Hi Bill,
    Yes you are right that is Carolyn Murphy.
    I will be shooting on film, so that part isn't a problem.
    I found some more of the campaign images here: Photos PETER LINDBERGH
    Still trying to work out the lighting. Wondering if there are black poly boards at her sides...?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  4. Well, I don't see any specific evidence of any, but it's possible, I guess.

    In your new link the top photo clearly shows the effect of a kicker light on the side of her arm (the side she is facing toward). The other side shows a similar light coming largely from above, see top of shoulder and on some of the wrinkles in the jacket. They seem relatively soft, perhaps a strip-style softbox.

    Assuming that you already own some lights, why not set up and just do a few tests? A digital camera would really speed up the testing. You'll have to get the images into digital anyway to weaken the skin tones like in the examples.

    If you don't want your BG lights/stands to be photographed in the image area you could probably use parabolic reflectors on a studio-light head; these will project out enough that you can move the lights further out.
  5. The former member I was thinking of is Daniel Lavoie. Here's a brief retouching tutorial he wrote way back when, including a quick way to retouch in skin highlight:

    Intro to Advanced Skin Retouching
  6. Semi spotlight on the background and a big, soft key. Plus plenty of afterwork retouching on the BG.
    I don't see the complication.

    The lighting direction is fully frontal and above head high in the handbag shot. Off to the side in the others.

    Look at the shadows, highlights and falloff to determine the lighting size, direction and distance.

    Not sure why you're making life difficult starting with film. It's only going to get scanned on day one, and be retouched and published as a digital file.
  7. Just wondering.
    Aren't Art Directors a thing these days? And wanting to see Polaroids or rushes.

    If so, then surely they'll prefer/insist on digital shooting for the instant feedback it gives them, since Polaroid film doesn't exist any more.
  8. I was thinking the same. Maybe some hotshot photographer like Platon and the like, can get away with film, but I am surprised if anyone below royalty can for commercial assignments.

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