Studio photography. Lighting a teenager.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Renderz, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Renderz, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2011

    Renderz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #1
    Hi, I used to believe that the best way to light people was to use multiple lights from various angles. After a bit of trial and error I found that actually one light was enough. My studio has white walls so I do get a bit of bounced ambient light.

    I have access to 4 light sources, but my studio is small compared to most. I struggle to control light spills when using anything more than two lights.


    [​IMG]

    How many lights to you guys regularly use in your studio and what kind?
     
  2. miamimatt, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2011

    miamimatt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #2
    Asking "what is best," is like asking what lens is best. It's all relative.

    What kind of mood do you want to present. High key, low key, hard light, soft light, more shadows than well-lit, etc.

    Even in a studio, you can light it all a million ways.

    When you decide you are not able to etch-out your subject well enough with one light for a desired composition, use more lights. To control light spill, use grids on bare bulbs. They have egg carton grids for softboxes, I use those, and they work great. Parabolic umbrellas and beauty dishes will also give you more control over light spill by default, and then you can add grids to corral the light.

    Hope that helps.

    There is also something to be said about using just one light. It's clean, simple, and just something about it. But I always try adding a kicker light in most occasions, just to see how it effects the composition. You get a lot of happy surprises. Don't be afraid to play. Worst case scenario, you learn something from it...

    -Matt
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    Use flags or barn doors to control spill Black foamcore works for me. On this shot, I'd have used another light for catchlights in the eyes. More importantly IMO, a background light to create a more 3D look almost always helps portraiture. Try to size your modifiers appropriately and move them close in, so you get soft light and you're using them at lower power levels, that'll help some with spill too.

    Paul
     
  4. macrumormonger macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Boy did that headline got me thinking all wrong:D
     
  5. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #5
    Get two or three strobes like the guy up there said with some barn doors, filters and softboxes and you will have some nice fun :)) One is passable though but really you can change the look of your photo by moving lights around. From changing your white muslin to gray and then back to bright white by simply moving it.

    Plus, when you have more than one person more than one light is invaluable. Then you get all the light you need and can not worry much about squishing people together.
     
  6. Joem48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #6
    Alex, i enjoyed your web blog pics. Selective focus like yours yields charm to these images.

    You have received tremendous info above - i learn you want it lit then light it. So if you desire a high key setup then the BG has to be lit separately from the model. Scrims, Flags, Grids all help to control your environment photographically.

    I use 5 or 6 feet Octaboxes for control not Umbrellas.

    Look here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zt8SPQ8EFg&feature=related

    joe
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    You need a good amount of ceiling height for that. 8' ceilings won't cut it. I've got a 5' Octabox and if I had the space I'd sure use it- when I shoot in my buddy's studio I use his 6' and I love the light it produces, but the OP says they have limited space-- they might be able to get away with a gridded 5' strip box (I love those too) but you need some room for a large octabox.

    Paul
     
  8. Joem48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #8
    My 47inch Alienbee Octobox will certainly fit in any room higher than 5 ft. Know any rooms smaller than that?

    It is used into the body not overhead. So not raised higher than 7 ft. Fits in any 7.8 or 8 ft ceilings i know of.

    joe
     
  9. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #9
    Also, take those lights O U T S I D E. You can do lotsa light ninja stuff outside with a few strobes. It's way fun. Night shoots, landscape, objects, oh my. : )
     
  10. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #10

    ahaha I'm jealous! I wish I had some Alienbee stuff : ( I got some knock off strobes. : ) they work but I hear the quality of AB is really nice. 47"! Ya!
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    First of all, 47" isn't 5', let alone 6.

    The bigger octaboxes want pretty heavy-duty lightstands which take up more room in a small space relatively speaking. Personally, I can't even get away with weighting my smaller lightstands, the smaller stands simply won't hold the box even horizontal.

    It also depends on where you want the catchlights- I've always had issues with large octaboxes and smaller studio spaces, but then I like my catchlights high, so I've found anything less than 10' to be a pain ceiling-wise, and I prefer having 15' to work with.

    Paul
     
  12. Renderz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #12
    Hi guys,

    It is fascinating reading your responses. My studio is only 3m x 7 which is tiny. My issue is able to provide sufficient EVEN light but in certain areas provide highlights such as the eyes as someone suggested.

    Perhaps a spotlight is the answer? Can anyone suggest one?
     
  13. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #13
    Question on lighting a teenager? Just ask the teenager! They know EVERYTHING!
     

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