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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 18 Jun 2018 (Monday) 18:00
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Dramatic Lighting - Guide/examples?

 
icor1031
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Jun 18, 2018 18:00 |  #1

I do mostly studio work, and I'd like to start doing dramatic lighting. I have a good understanding of how light works, but I'm not very creative; I don't know in what ways to use my light to make the scene appear dramatic.

Suggested resources?


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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ShutterKlick
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Jun 18, 2018 18:12 |  #2

HSS or ND filters are a great tool. Visualize your light, set your strobes and adjust intensity to taste. Have fun!

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4764/26481094318_d5c021e4b5_o.jpg

Play play play with light! Its the only suggestion I have. You can read books and look at Youtube University
videos till the end of time and wont learn all you need.

GL,
Andrew

"Camera rich, Cash poor"
http://shutterklick.co​m (external link)

  
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nixland
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Jun 18, 2018 18:35 |  #3

First, google and youtube are your best friends :). Just type 'dramatic lighting' keyword.




  
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icor1031
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Jun 18, 2018 18:38 |  #4

nixland wrote in post #18647558 (external link)
First, google and youtube are your best friends :). Just type 'dramatic lighting' keyword.

I haven't had much luck. For example, I type that and go to image results - and most of the pictures are pretty bland. I wouldn't call them dramatic.


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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-Duck-
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Jun 18, 2018 18:51 |  #5

Andrew said it best, get out there and practice.

Looking at photos, watching videos or even reading books only lets you see your goal. Actually doing it gets you to your goal. I use a display mannequin to practice on. It's cheaper than working with a model and it doesn't complain as much. Plus it avoids any embarrassment of fumbling around getting it wrong more than getting it right. The one thing you don't want to do is try to figure out from scratch a lighting setup when you have a live person in front of the camera. PRactice ahead of time and then fine tune it with a person. :D


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icor1031
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Jun 18, 2018 18:55 |  #6

-Duck- wrote in post #18647568 (external link)
Andrew said it best, get out there and practice.

Looking at photos, watching videos or even reading books only lets you see your goal. Actually doing it gets you to your goal. I use a display mannequin to practice on. It's cheaper than working with a model and it doesn't complain as much. Plus it avoids any embarrassment of fumbling around getting it wrong more than getting it right. The one thing you don't want to do is try to figure out from scratch a lighting setup when you have a live person in front of the camera. PRactice ahead of time and then fine tune it with a person. :D

I like your mannequin idea, but as I said - I'm not creative. I need examples to learn from.

How does the mannequin's skin compare to a person's? That can drastically change the light result.


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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-Duck-
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Jun 18, 2018 19:03 |  #7

icor1031 wrote in post #18647572 (external link)
I like your mannequin idea, but as I said - I'm not creative. I need examples to learn from.

How does the mannequin's skin compare to a person's? That can drastically change the light result.

My mannequin is a cheap $20 plastic one from ebay. I spray painted it a neutral tone (it was white) to get closer to a skin tone. As a learning tool it does not have to replicate skin exactly since different skin tones reflect light differently. The thing I like about the mannequin is that the light does get exaggerated a bit, letting me see how the light interacts on the subject. I can see ratios better and how the light contours a face.

Here is where you can grab a photo of a lighting style you like and practice on replicating it in a no pressure environment. Once you can replicate a look and are comfortable with the setup then you can grab a live person to really test the setup. Because you are "in the ballpark" with the mannequin you can get to the desired look faster than if you were trying to figure it out fresh. From there it's just a matter of exploring and fine tuning the look.

Hope that makes sense.


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ShutterKlick
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Jun 18, 2018 19:19 |  #8

Were working with light, fall off and shadow casting. "skin" tone is optional. Ive got a manikin on my short list for experimenting.
One cannot teach or explain creativity, however one can discover it. Read, watch the videos to get you a jump start.. however
hours worth of "less than desirable" results will be the best teacher.

HTH & GL,
Andrew


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http://shutterklick.co​m (external link)

  
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nixland
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Jun 18, 2018 19:22 |  #9

icor1031 wrote in post #18647562 (external link)
nixland wrote in post #18647558 (external link)
First, google and youtube are your best friends :). Just type 'dramatic lighting' keyword.

I haven't had much luck. For example, I type that and go to image results - and most of the pictures are pretty bland. I wouldn't call them dramatic.

Can you show us some examples of images that you consider dramatic?




  
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ShutterKlick
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Jun 18, 2018 19:24 |  #10

Hundreds, thousands (?) here IMHO, pick one that reflects your goals and share with us.

https://www.google.com …_AUICigB&biw=14​40&bih=786 (external link)


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RicoTudor
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Jun 18, 2018 19:58 |  #11

Learn from the Master: https://en.wikipedia.o​rg/wiki/Caravaggio (external link)

One light, hard, no white backgrounds. As for skin texture and modelling of faces, use yourself as subject. All the Baroque Masters indulged in selfies.


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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icor1031
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Post edited 3 months ago by icor1031. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 18, 2018 21:05 |  #12

nixland wrote in post #18647587 (external link)
Can you show us some examples of images that you consider dramatic?


Examples: https://imgur.com/a/Kl​49pNT (external link)
The last one in that list is mine. The second to last is questionable, as far as being dramatic (imo). The first 3 are my favorites in that list.

But, these use few lights. I'd like to learn to get more ideas similar to these, but I'd also like to learn to shoot dramatic with 10+ lights.


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
Ideal Portraits (external link)

  
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RicoTudor
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Post edited 3 months ago by RicoTudor.
     
Jun 18, 2018 21:32 as a reply to  @ icor1031's post |  #13

One light, flag to the left, black b/d, shoot-through panel as key, no fill:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/nikon/misc/rico111.jpg

Nikon D3X with kit 55-200 DX. Only nine more lights to go. :)

Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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icor1031
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Jun 18, 2018 23:21 |  #14

ShutterKlick wrote in post #18647548 (external link)
HSS or ND filters are a great tool. Visualize your light, set your strobes and adjust intensity to taste. Have fun!

QUOTED IMAGE

Play play play with light! Its the only suggestion I have. You can read books and look at Youtube University
videos till the end of time and wont learn all you need.

GL,
Andrew

I shoot in studio, but that's a good idea I hadn't thought of (ND to kill ambient). I would have just adjusted my lens, but that gets me outside the optimal performance range.


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
Ideal Portraits (external link)

  
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soeren
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Jun 19, 2018 00:26 |  #15

icor1031 wrote in post #18647622 (external link)
Examples: https://imgur.com/a/Kl​49pNT (external link)
The last one in that list is mine. The second to last is questionable, as far as being dramatic (imo). The first 3 are my favorites in that list.

But, these use few lights. I'd like to learn to get more ideas similar to these, but I'd also like to learn to shoot dramatic with 10+ lights.

Gavin Hoey has a tutorial on that first image + plenty more in his "Take and make great photography" series on adorama TV on YouTube. Learn how to read and reverse ingineer the light in photos you consider dramatic.




  
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Dramatic Lighting - Guide/examples?
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