Friday, March 5, 2010

Kicking It Into Gear

The image I wanted to discuss today was one from a catalog shoot I did for Daria Kavasera, who designs wonderful high-fashion dresses.  I was working with two of her dedicated models as well as her regular team of hair and make-up people.

Posing the models was quite easy, as both of them have much experience in Daria's outfits, so there wasn't much to watch out for there.  I am a big fan of the ring and middle fingers being together, or nearly so, as it helps keep the hands looking feminine.  Again, that might be a bit over-the-top, but I am a detail lover so I like these kind of little touches.

In the above image we have 3 lights working to create the photo.

1) Fill Lighting is used to adjust the amount of contrast we want between the bright side of the face, and the shadow side.  In most female models and images like this, we want some, but not a ton.  If you have to much the image takes on a darker mood, and that isn't the goal with this series.  In this photo, the fill light is a huge octabank that was placed in front of the model and pretty much on axis with the camera.  This could have easily been a large white sheet with a light shooting though it as well.  In this case it was an AlienBee 800 set to ƒ5.6 (metered at the model).

2) Key Lighting was provided via a large softbox and AlienBee 1600 at camera left.  It was metered at ƒ8 and was tilted 45 degrees clockwise so the spill was directed a bit further to the right than it would have been in normal position.  I love the fact you can rotate the softbox.  A lot of people don't use this feature, and once you figure out you can do some nifty things with it, you will want to use it more often.  A great example is when you do a portrait.  You want to be sure to not expose the ear on the light side as much as the face.  My turning the softbox, you can feather the light that falls on the ear and solve the problem!

3) Rim Lighting was a small stripbox with a 40 degree cloth grid placed on the outer diffuser of the box.  This was done to prevent the light from falling on the background.  The client really wanted a gray background, so spill needed to be controlled.  The rim light was also metered at ƒ5.6 and was positioned a bit high to keep the lighting off the floor.

As always comments are welcome and let me know if you found any of this interesting.  I will post a few more in the coming days and if interest is there I will keep them coming.



  1. Well you have a reader! Just found ya from flickr. Nice picture. Though your lighting stuff is somewhat familiar to me, I will surely come back to read because I love to see how people achieved what they did!

  2. Going through your blog from the beginning! I must tell you how impressive it is! Love the metering details too.
    I'll spread the word about it to my Canon forum members!

  3. Glad you like it! I often wonder if people are reading it, or if I am writing it just for my own gratification. :-)


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