Just a simple single-light setup and a silver reflector.
The picture was shot indoors in my home studio. The only real trick to get the shot just the way I wanted was balancing the ambient light and strobe light to generate a dramatic light effect on the model while keeping the surroundings dark.
The shot was taken during the day with lots of lights coming through the windows and bouncing and getting diffused by the white studio walls. The light balance is achieved by selecting an appropriate f-stop that will get you a complete dark image when a picture of the model is taken in just ambient light. So set the speed at the camera’s flash sync speed, which for the X-E1 is 1/160th, and start taking pictures changing the aperture nay until you get a complete dark image. So, once this is achieved, then one starts playing with the power of the strobe, painting the model with light while keeping the background in the “dark.” This is achieved by using a rectangular soft box with a honeycomb grid to direct the light exactly where you want it. Once the light is set and the pose is placed, then one can make the final few slight adjustments to the aperture and power setting to get the finished shot.
LR and CS used to achieved mono and retouches.
The hardware: X-E1, 35mm XF, Alien Bees 800, Rectangular grid softbox, Silver reflector, and a couple Wireless triggers.
With just a little bit of planning, a levitation effect can easily be done 🙂 Adding a few effects to the picture and you get a very nice result.
The day was a little cloudy which made it challenging to capture the background image and the perfect pose with the same lighting. A little bit of work had to be done to the selected images to balance them correctly for the final composition. This is where RAW format shines.
What went into this shot? My X-E1, my not-so great Manfrotto tripod, my Macbook with CC, and what you see in the picture.
Another one from the Rubi Series. For this shot, we moved back to the white paper background. The setup included a key light to the models right and a hair light. The studio’s white walls acted as a reflector and helped retain details in the shadows.
The XE1 is an amazing camera which I enjoy a lot. Pair it with the 60mm XF Fujinon prime lens and you will be holding a very capable studio portrait system. I would love to have a faster flash sync body but the X-E1 speed is good enough for portraits at 1/180. Although, I am yet to have some luck using my strobes at the rated speed, I always have to go as low as 1/125. Nevertheless, the system delivers great, crip and brilliant pictures.
Shot with the X-E1 & 60mm XF Fujinon running the latest firmware at the time this post was published.
Taken while studying Paramount lighting techniques, or Butterfly lighting because of the shape of the slight shadows achieved under the nose of the model. I had the model facing straight at the camera for most pictures taken during this session to really get a hold of the technique, once achieved, I asked the model to turn slightly to the left. With the light setup the same, I simply reduced the power on my single strobe to produce a much dimmer light and reduce the falloff around her.
Post processing involved skin, hair and eyes treatment, and Lr to turn the photo mono and add the final effects.
From the instance I saw the picture, I though I saw La Gioconda.
XE1/60mm XF – B800/Gold Reflector – Butterfly Lighting
So I decided to try the Butterfly or Paramount lighting technique. I am very surprised I have never tried it before as it is such a simple setup but yields really high glamorous results. It requires a key light high above the model pointing down to illuminate the face, and a reflector right under the camera to soften the shadows. That simple. I could have used a second strobe or flashgun to add light to the model’s hair but I really wanted to focus on the face and pretty much fade everything else. Some light post processing and you have a beautiful portrait.
A friend asked me to come up with a few shots to advertise his cover band Thidwick, and to get a nice ad for his merchandise. I decided for clean front pictures for the apparel. I also had more lights and modifiers than usual. For this shot, my beloved 300ws through a double baffled rectangular softbox as a main light, a gold reflector, hair light, and a homemade continuous light. This last one resulting in a nice blue hue to the background.
Yes, I could have achieved the same with two lights, maybe, and more digital darkroom work. But hey, a man can only spend so much time on the computer and I am almost out of Starbucks Keurig cups. The final result, a somewhat purist photo approach.
- Martha: Basic Lighting (danielreprieto.wordpress.com)