Christian: And in this Hough To, we’re going to look at a broad range of various modifiers and reflectors and how you can achieve loads of different effects for your fashion portfolio.
Christian: Fashion and Beauty Photography are two very separate areas. However, they are often grouped together as a matter of commercial interest, whereas beauty often sells a product to rely as heavily on lighting, fashion can rely more heavily on aptitude. However, both demand high technical ability and thoughtful lighting.
So, let’s go through some of the shape as the modifiers available from Bowens so you could really nail that shot. Let’s kick off for the four-line set-up using the soft light reflector, a gel and bundles, and a couple of street boxes to create a rim light to separate the model from the background. You may find that you have to adjust or flat the streetlights to control the lights in order to accommodate the spacing in which you’re shooting. Try turning off the other lights to see where the rim light falls on the face of the model and make sure that it doesn’t flare into the lens of the camera. So, you could see that ray give the model’s face more definition by highlighting the cheekbones with the streetlights.
The soft light reflector is set directly above the model. Just throw the shutters downward and elongate the face. Set the power of your key light to about F11 and then with the streetlights, set the power then between F5.6 and F8. You may well find it to adjust those again as necessary depending on the skin tone of your model. If you have a model with darker skin, you may well need more power on the streetlights.
The power of your backdrop may well depend on the space you have. The amounts that you wish to light and the intensity of the color you’re after. In a small space, you may well find that light spinning from the soft light reflector causes the color of the background to bleach a little. So, you’ll need to adjust the power of the gel as necessary. Let’s take test shots.
Alright, let’s drop the light in touch a few soft boxes remaining three heads. I'm using one soft box to lift the model’s hair from the background. The second to add a little fill light and the third light is the key. We’ve got to start by setting the key lights to about F11 and then metering the rest of the lights to create effect enough. I think a black backdrop would really help the model contrast against the background.
Christian: Okay, let’s check this out for final age. Basically, we start with three lights. We pulled the great paper background down and we start with of the soft boxes, a set of bundles, and the red gel. I’ve removed the second soft box and replace this with a honeycomb grid. This will let the back of the hair and the shoulders of the model add up some separation from the strong background color.
As for the last set-up, we’ve kept the single soft box. Well this time, replace the off-camera access. We’ll catch it up nice and high. That way throws all the shadows down onto the chin and creates a really strong jaw line for the model. As for the hair lights, the shinier and more pale the models skin, the less light you’ll need. Adjust it until you’re happy or try and retain all the highlight detail.
Okay, time to meter up again, that’s personally F11. As to the backlights, okay for the gel, the more clear you’re on, the more power you need. That’s it. Let’s shoot.
So you have it, three great set-ups, three totally different looks.
Chris: Thanks for that Christian. Great shots! Now, let’s have a look at the few tips to get you started. Focus on the models eyes and maintain the out-of-focus look to the background, either by using the lens wide open let’s say 2.8 or 1.4 or moving slightly further away and using a longer focal length say 85 or 105 mm. Hairlights can be tricky. Blunt hair can burn out or overexposed very easily while dark hair will absorb far more light than you think. This is definitely one to judge by eye. Using gels, instead of using the white background where the gel comes out very rich, why not try a grey or a black one and it just gives a slightly different color.
Okay, if you don’t have a light meter, don’t panic. Why not utilize the highlight function on the back of your digital camera. Just make sure if you’re shooting with a white background that the white background is flashing and not your model. Hair and make-up really do set the scene. You don’t necessarily need a professional make-up artist but if you’re trying to set high, just ensure that the model has a flat soft powder base to her face, a little blush to define the cheeks, lipstick and simple eyeliner or eye shadow. You don’t need to overdo this. Less is more sometimes but in the end, it really helps you create a professional image.
Christian: There you have it. Loads of different ways with lots of different lights to really maximize your creative output.
Chris: And don’t forget to check us out on the Bowens website, look for litebook and we’ll see you next time in Hough To.