Guess The Lighting Set-ups (Part 2)
In order to understand light, you need to be able to deconstruct it. Get in the habit of studying other photographers’ work to try to make sense of how they may have lit the scene. I offered up some of my images from a recent shoot for you to do so. Earlier in June, I launched a contest to challenge you. This post has the answers!
Wow, we got some great guesses for this challenge. I was thrilled to see how many people posted answers that lean towards my INTENT with my lighting setups here. For instance, for the bed shots, I wanted it to look like sunlight streaming in from a large window from camera-right, but by using my strobe instead of an actual window. And, many of you actually guessed that it was window light! So, this challenge ended up being valuable to ME too! I now know that my intent is being seen for what I hoped my light would look like. I hope you all were able to learn something from this too!
Choosing a winner was hard, since so many of you were CLOSE to the idea of my set-ups, but we had to go by exact answers, to which there were 3 from 3 different people (Meg, Leslie and Mandy – good job girls!), who all nailed the lighting set-up for the window shot. We then had to randomly select between the 3 of them to decide on the winner.
Congratulations to Leslie!!
Leslie guessed one set-up accurately and won via random generator between her, Meg and Mandy. She gets a copy of my “5 Boudoir Poses, 15 Sellable Images” book!
Lighting equipment I used
Paul C. Buff AlienBee Ring Flash ABR800
White Shoot Through Umbrella
Note: With so many different lighting set-ups, it was important to me to use a ColorChecker to avoid possible color shifts throughout this series. I used it every single time I changed the lighting or location.
1 (a) -Beauty dish camera left + Ringflash camera right bounced into white umbrella for fill.
I wanted stark, more even lighting for this part of the series, to set the scene and play into the masculinity.
b) – Beauty dish camera left + 4’x6’ Scrim Jim for fill to camera right.
This is more of a typical set-up for me, although I sometimes use a second strobe for fill. I’m simply in love with the quality of light I get from this. I knew I wanted to tie the whole shoot together by using the same lighting set-up in some instances for both the feminine and masculine looks, so I chose to do that here.
1 (c) – RingFlash for an evenly lit look.
I wanted her personality to pop in this little series and figured the ring flash would work best for this. Instead of attaching it to my camera for this quick series in the shower, I had my assistant hand-hold it and hold it above or slightly to the side of my head, pointing it back to the subject. I added some contrast in post by adding a black and white Gradient Map and setting it to either Luminance or Soft Light (can’t remember which one I chose, as I alternate between those often).
2 – Bounced Strobe on Westcott Scrim Jim (camera right)
I wanted a more evenly lit scene with softer shadows, in an attempt to replicate what the light would look like coming in from a large window source. My Scrim Jim was able to help me mimic a larger window type of light source, by bouncing my ring flash directly into it, causing the light to bounce back towards my subject and spread out around her. The walls could have been a great resource for bouncing if they weren’t bright red. The red would have thrown off a strong color cast that I didn’t want to contend with in Photoshop.
3 – Backlit from light coming through window + Scrim Jim (camera left) for fill
My easiest set-up of the series! Natural with some fill.
4- Beauty dish + Scrim Jim for fill
This set-up provided a richer quality of light that I am so fond of.
4 (b) – Beauty dish
I had my assistant lower the dish and we removed the Scrim Jim.
5 – Feathered beauty dish
Slightly feathered the light coming from the beauty dish for these. I wanted slightly moody here.
Please note: I am in no way associated with Paul C Buff, FK Westcott or X-Rite. I have never been sponsored by any of these companies. I use and endorse them based on personal experience only.