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Old 14th of April 2012 (Sat)   #1
casp3r
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Default Lighting a bodybuilder

Thought I would ask this here as he will be basically naked.

Next Sunday I have been asked to shoot a bodybuilder (in studio) and this will be my first. I've searched the forum but everything seems to relate to shooting during an actual competition. So I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction regarding lighting what will be a well built body.

Many thanks in advance

Michael
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Old 20th of April 2012 (Fri)   #2
phantelope
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

I would use one or two lights with narrow (strip) softboxes and grids, light him from both sides, black background. Lights close to him for nice hard shadow. Or just one light. Low key, bring out a lot of shadow in the muscles.

If he's doing pushups etc, same approach, just lay the light horizontal on (or close to) the floor.

Anyway, that's what I'd do
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Old 20th of April 2012 (Fri)   #3
casp3r
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

Many thanks for that. Have a few ideas now and will add yours to them. Hopefully he will let be post some photos from the session
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Old 24th of April 2012 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

I think the simplest way is do sandwich lighting (i.e. one light on each side). Take a look at the following link for samples:

body builders
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Old 1st of May 2012 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

casp3r, I have done some bodybuilding photography (and have been published with them, too). I usually use a 28" Westcott softbox up high above the figure to get a decent contrast of the musculature. That size seems to have worked out for me as it's not too big (because you don't want soft light) and not too small (too harsh). I'll usually add one or two speedlights in the back for rim lighting. This 2-3 light setup is usually enough to get a good dramatic look. You can see some examples of mine here:
http://www.TomNguyenPhoto.com
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Old 1st of May 2012 (Tue)   #6
casp3r
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

Thanks Tom, some very nice work there. I ended up using a single flash bounced of an umbrella for most of the shots and to be honest I think I got some pretty decent results, especially the close-ups. Unfortunately one of the flash heads failed during the session so I couldn't light the background properly when doing the full length shots but thankfully the client still thought they were great.
If you're interested you can view some of the shots here
http://www.michaelcarbery.co.uk/?p=1877
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Old 5th of May 2012 (Sat)   #7
noohoggin1
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Default Re: Lighting a bodybuilder

Hi, Michael, sorry for the late response. Thanks so much for your kind words, and yes an umbrella should do fine (actually it did--just took a look at your photos, nice job!!). I have myself used a silver umbrella far back from the bodybuilder before, and it seems to work just fine.

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