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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 02 Feb 2009 (Monday) 12:00
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REALLY need help with my lighting setup [ NSFW! ]

 
Ledrak
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Feb 02, 2009 12:00 |  #1

I’m looking to improve my lighting setup. I guess I should start by saying that I shoot nearly all glamour/nude style photography, and I’m almost always shooting indoors. Till this point, my lighting setup has been two AB400’s and a pair of umbrellas. I’m going to buy more lighting equipment, but I haven’t had any experience using the various types of lighting options (other than what I currently have), so I’m a bit unsure of what I should purchase next.

What I was thinking of doing is adding two more Alienbees to my setup (prob another 400 & an 800), adding a large reflector, and incorporating softboxes. This is where my confusion comes in. I don’t know if I should get just one softbox, or if I should get more than one, or if I should go with the octabox style (which I hear so many people love) vs the regular style, etc. I’ve also seen photos that were shot with a ring flash that I really liked, and was thinking of getting one of these as well. But I don’t know if it would be worth the expense, especially if I can achieve the kind of photos I want without it. So, I’m quite confused as to what my next step is at this point.

I want my photos to look as good as these: Link NSFW http://www.labatidora.​net …=jenyamet101220​08&idi=ing (external link)
Now I may not have the skills to produce photos like these yet, but at least I should be able to get the lighting right!

Now here’s a link to a couple of pics I posted of my own work. https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=626926

I know my framing was off here, but it’s the lighting I really want help on right now.




  
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TMR ­ Design
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Feb 02, 2009 16:37 |  #2

Hi Ledrak,

For the style of images you've linked to you're going to want large modifiers and soft lighting with fairly broad coverage. Those shots are well lit and not much contrast or hard lighting. Ring flash is a nice effect but that's not what is used for those shots.

I would suggest a large Octa to get started. You'll probably want another softbox or Octa for fill because reflectors aren't efficient enough to be out of frame in shots like that and still provide the amount of return you need. You're going to want to use powered light sources and large modifiers. With the modifiers pulled back from the subject and out of frame you're going to get nice smooth falloff but it also means having the power to do that. B400's may do the job but you may find that the B800 is a better solution once places inside large boxes.


Robert
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Rudi
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Feb 02, 2009 16:53 |  #3

Rob, you must be slipping. (Or maybe you were distracted by something :D). Look at the hard shadows in some of those images! Yes, there is good fill to bring the contrast down, but a lot of those were done with pretty crisp (if not outright hard) light.


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canonnoob
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Feb 02, 2009 16:55 |  #4

You might wnat to add a NSFW by the links above...


David W.

  
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TMR ­ Design
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Feb 02, 2009 17:08 |  #5

Rudi wrote in post #7239942 (external link)
Rob, you must be slipping. (Or maybe you were distracted by something :D). Look at the hard shadows in some of those images! Yes, there is good fill to bring the contrast down, but a lot of those were done with pretty crisp (if not outright hard) light.

LOL Hey Rudi.. not distracted, but slipping is a possibility. I was actually doing two different things when I was responding and I think I got my wires crossed.

You are correct about the light. There is hard contrast between highlight and shadow and rather crisp light, as you said. I think I saw the thumbs and how well lit they were and jumped the gun thinking it was broad, soft light. I was right about the broad part... LOLOL


Robert
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Rudi
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Feb 02, 2009 17:13 |  #6

It's OK. She sure distracted me! :D

To answer the OP's question (and from what I've seen), this sort of glamour/soft porn look is easily achieved with a low-ratio two-light setup. Shoot with only 2 lights at 2:1, and it almost doesn't matter what modifiers you put on them, the girl will usually divert the viewer's attention away from any small lighting imperfections. Maybe bring in a third light if you want to get really fancy, for rim/accent lighting, but that's about it.


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• Borrowed Moment (blog) (external link)

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.

  
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Ledrak
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Feb 02, 2009 18:50 |  #7

canonnoob wrote in post #7239957 (external link)
You might wnat to add a NSFW by the links above...

Ah, good idea... I didn’t think of that. Will be added now.




  
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Ledrak
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Feb 02, 2009 18:52 |  #8

Rudi wrote in post #7240072 (external link)
It's OK. She sure distracted me! :D

To answer the OP's question (and from what I've seen), this sort of glamour/soft porn look is easily achieved with a low-ratio two-light setup. Shoot with only 2 lights at 2:1, and it almost doesn't matter what modifiers you put on them, the girl will usually divert the viewer's attention away from any small lighting imperfections. Maybe bring in a third light if you want to get really fancy, for rim/accent lighting, but that's about it.

Ok, thanks. This really helps a lot. So you think I should just keep my current setup, maybe just add an extra light? Or should I invest in softboxes? I know you said the modifiers won't matter much, but if you were going to shoot this (taking into account the lighting I have right now), which direction would you go?




  
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Ledrak
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Feb 02, 2009 18:54 |  #9

TMR Design wrote in post #7240044 (external link)
LOL Hey Rudi.. not distracted, but slipping is a possibility. I was actually doing two different things when I was responding and I think I got my wires crossed.

You are correct about the light. There is hard contrast between highlight and shadow and rather crisp light, as you said. I think I saw the thumbs and how well lit they were and jumped the gun thinking it was broad, soft light. I was right about the broad part... LOLOL

Does this change what you suggested earlier?




  
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TMR ­ Design
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Feb 02, 2009 19:00 as a reply to  @ Ledrak's post |  #10

The only thing that changes was my initial assessment of the light I was seeing. I do think that for the coverage desired you still need larger light sources and they could be Octaboxes without all the diffusion and as Rudi mentioned, rather than lighting it evenly from both sides, you're going to want higher contrast with the main light at least 1 stop over the fill. Depending on the coverage and size of the shot a beauty dish would also work very well for that kind of work.


Robert
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Feb 02, 2009 19:02 |  #11

Please note that the subject in the "sample" photos probably has a healthy amount of photographer-friendly makeup on to make sure that specular effects are diffuse/handled well, the light type used is used very intentionally or is being worked around by someone who knows how, and someone there also knows how to compose the images well and handle posing. As far as I can see, it's not "thrown together" in any technical sense. Environment also plays a role, as do colors, contrast, and all the other elements of art and sex.


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Hermes
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Feb 02, 2009 19:02 |  #12

You can get that style of lighting with no modifiers - shoot bare bulb. If you're working in a large room and the shadows are too dark then bounce a second light off a wall or ceiling to bring up the fill.




  
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Rudi
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Feb 02, 2009 22:53 |  #13

Ledrak wrote in post #7240812 (external link)
Ok, thanks. This really helps a lot. So you think I should just keep my current setup, maybe just add an extra light? Or should I invest in softboxes? I know you said the modifiers won't matter much, but if you were going to shoot this (taking into account the lighting I have right now), which direction would you go?

You can achieve that articular look with what you have. But a softbox can always be handy, especially one with removable diffusers, since you can then change the flavour of the light it provides. Of course, you can always use different umbrellas, too...


• Wedding Photographer - Sydney and Wollongong (external link)
• Borrowed Moment (blog) (external link)

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.

  
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REALLY need help with my lighting setup [ NSFW! ]
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