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.
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
Maybe I am going old fashion but I really dig a good looking, well made pair of shoes. The way all these intricate pieces of leather go together to give form and texture.
Sometimes going back to basics can get you that one shot you were looking for. A single light through a rectangular softbox. Get it close to the model. Put aside the shyness and get closer and closer too. Get the eyes sharp, textbook. Tilt the head and open the mouth a little. Shot. Repeat. Then, time for the digital darkroom. And a cup of coffee.
Lately I have been possessed by the works of George Hurrell. I am using a single strobe through a cone modifier, creating hard shadows. Beautiful. But not enough.