SETUP-7: PORTRAIT SHOOT WITH 3 STROBES
First things first… :-)… again we posted a photo some time ago and again we got a lot of questions concering the “HOW TO” of that particular photoshoot. The original post is HERE.
Here you go… But take a look at the first picture, then think about the setup. Start looking for shadows, for highlights, search for reflections in the eyes… start arranging the setup in your head.
As usual you can take a look at the light setting. But hey, you already saw that picture. So you clearly know that we don’t mess with you. You can see the Portalite Softbox in the front. It’s 65cm x 65cm. We only used a 200Ws Elinchrom D-Lite 2. If you work properly, you don’t always need a lot of flash power.
There is a softbox in the back. The bright light on the left it is a 135cm Octabox. What you can’t see is the other side. There is also a softbox.
That’s it. 3 strobes. 1 mainlight, 2 hard effect lights from the back. But what about the white background? Good question, short answer.
–> The two softboxes in the back produce enough vagabounding light to light up the back. It is only a question of the correct angle and distance. Keep the background very very close to the two lights in the background and they will light up your background as well. The rest is a bit of contrast enhancement in photoshop :-)…
Another good question: What about the hairlight? How strong are those two lights in the back???
–> The strobes are set to a slight overexposure. We ALWAYS use about 4/10 of a f-stop overexposing for those kind of lights. It’s the perfect amount of light to get a slight accent on the model without having a bright white skin. If you have a light meter, then try to set the power for you next shoot to about this strength. You will be astonished how good it works and how good it looks, having fine highlights but no overexposung at all.
Think about your possibilities in Photoshop afterwards. If you want more light, then just add it in photoshop.
ALWAYS PHOTOGRAPH IN A WAY THAT GIVES YOU ALL THE POSSIBLITIES AFTERWARDS IN PHOTOSHOP. OVER- OR UNDEREXPOSING TAKES AWAY THOSE POSSIBILITIES. WHEN THERE IS NO INFORMATION, THERE IS ALSO OF COURSE NO DIGITAL INFORMATION. BLACK IS BLACK AND WHITE IS WHITE.
One last thing about the size of the softbox in front of our model. It’s only about 1/5th of the size the hairlights. WHY???? It gives you character in your photo. Take a close look at the shadows under her arms, under the chin and under her arm pit. With a bigger softbox, a bigger light source, there would not have been any shadows. And shadows are not bad things to have. They are the best thing in photography ever, because the give your photo a specific lighting characteristic. Without shadows, this image would clearly be a lot more boring.
My advice for you is to often use small but soft light sources. It is very tricky to set them up, there is only a small angle where the face is beautiful lit and the body produces nice shadows, but it is worth the trouble.
So much for now…we hope all questions are answered. Until next time… MARTIN