View Full Version : Favorite studio lighting setup??
11-16-2006, 05:56 PM
Okay ladies....even though I've done professional photography for nearly 20 years now, I am just now really getting into doing studio work. Up til now, I've only done natural lighting or flash photography.
So tell me your favorite lighting arrangment and why. Include a sketch/diagram of your setup and I will hook you up with a little something for your trouble. ;)
The arrangement I am currently trying to perfect is high-key which is a blown-out white background. I attempted this for our holiday photos, but the background was still rather bluish/gray. Here is the set-up I used:
Anyone with success doing a high-key setup? If so, can you give me some tips on what I can do to improve this arrangement so that the backdrop is not so bluish gray?
11-16-2006, 07:01 PM
This has always worked for me, I can show you some high key photos I took if you'd like. I used two AB 800's.
11-16-2006, 07:04 PM
Oh yeah sorry for the lame diagram :P
11-16-2006, 08:20 PM
Would love to see some pix using that setup. I tried that setup and it was way too hot for the subjects - washed them right out.
I'm also interested in seeing other lighting setups that you or others have used and like.
11-16-2006, 09:10 PM
Here are a couple of shots:
11-16-2006, 09:50 PM
I've tried a similar set up Rebecca , but with a "reflector" instead of the 2nd light and I'm using the giant soft box. I've gotten great results with it. I wish I had the pics on here :(
Good luck Kim!
11-17-2006, 05:01 AM
Okay, so where are the lights in proximity to your subject? Are they up high and pointed at an angle downward? Or are they at face level with her?
And let's see some other lighting setups.......perhaps a Rembrandt or low-key setup? I have some ideas on how they are done, but am reluctant to make a sketch cuz I wouldn't want someone to see it and think that is accurate. :)
11-17-2006, 07:38 AM
I didn't drop them down since I was moving her around into a chair and switching out backgrounds. The lights sat at about 4-5 feet and were angled up since I was using the umbrellas to bounce the light back down. I am by no means a professional photographer. This is just what works for me.
11-17-2006, 10:25 AM
Kim-from your diagram, it looks like the lights on the background may be too far to the sides and too close? Also, do you have any issues with only using a main light and not a fill light? I find it hard to use only one light on portraits but that is probably me since that is what I've always used. Currently I only have only 2 alien bees but I'd like to get 2 more for a 4 light setup.
11-17-2006, 10:58 AM
I have just started to mess with this...KIm what are you using for a backdrop? can you show us a pic of what your set up is giving you?
my first try, with 2 ab 800's one with a softbox the other with a small brolly on it..I have nothing lighting the background at all. I did some dodging the shadows under neath the chair a bit so they werent as harsh..but other than that I think that was about it...maybe some extra dodging around the edges..have you metered off you background? I have read that it needs to be 2 fstops brighter than your subject? maybe your back lights arent on high enough? just taking a stab at it
here is one SOOTC, no clue what I did different on these ones..but obviously something..I cant find the original of the bear...
a quick dodge of the highlights will make that blue disappear...
11-17-2006, 01:01 PM
Victoria - I currently have 3 Britek strobes. The two in the back were quite close to the backdrop, one slightly higher than the other to fill in the shadow areas. For the main, I used a strobe with 48" octagon softbox. The backdrop was a piece of white vinyl from the fabric store. My white paper drops just arrived today by UPS. Woohoo!! I picked up red, blue and white. Fun!
Anyway, the pic I took of the boys was the exact same setup as the pic of hubby and I. The one of the boys was more bluish and the one of hubby and I was very white.
Nothing changed because I didn't move anything or change the settings. So I'm kinda confused on that. The only thing that is obvious is that the boys were sitting on the floor, whereas hubby and I were up higher since he was on a stool.....ya know, I wonder if I should've lowered those backdrop lights so that they were at the same height as the boys? That's probably the trick!
Deanna, what is a brolly? I don't think I have ever heard that term. And no, I have done no metering cuz my meter is busted. I set the backdrop lights to 3/4 power and the main light to 1/2 power, I think....I'd have to dig them out of the case and look to be sure.
11-17-2006, 03:28 PM
yup kim I would guess that those background lights needed to be lower...I bet if you could see that photo in wide screen..or tall screen LMAO..that it would be whiter up higher..
a brolly is just like a tiny round softbox, and an umbrella mixed toghter..just another way to diffuse light...
I know some photogs use barn doors to help guide their backdrop lighting a bit more and to prevent spillage onto their subjects...I thought of that while driving home today!
11-17-2006, 04:18 PM
Ahhhh, yes I would call that a gobo (as in go between). I should've slapped on the barn doors on the right light cuz my hand and the side of hubby's face were a bit too hot. Next time......learning, learning, learning. LOL
Okay, so now I will have to try lowering those lights next time cuz I think I have the high-key lighting scenario down aside from that one aspect.
Next setup anyone . . . hmmmmmm . . . any favorites?
11-19-2006, 05:23 AM
Well, since nobody else has chimed in with a different lighting setup, I went ahead and did some looking around and found these for short-lighting. I'm going to play with this one this week. Anyone else care to join me?
There are two ways you can do short-lighting.
1. One with the light directly to the side of the subject and the subject's body positioned 3/4 and head turned facing the camera. See diagram version 1.
2. The other has the light positioned off to the side of the camera with the subject's body facing nearly straight on to the camera but the head turned more toward the light. See diagram 2.
You will need to position the reflector slightly differently depending on which setup you choose to use. Also, I was unable to find anything that states how far the distance should be for the light, reflector, etc., so you'll need to play around with that until you find something that works for you.
Have fun with it!
11-19-2006, 08:06 AM
im game Kim..I need to practice this more anyways, I have a maternity shoot coming up in the next few weeks..and I want to really mess around with some other types of lighting!
11-21-2006, 09:34 AM
Okay, Deanna.....I'm going to do mine this afternoon. And then I have to change things back to high-key for my two families that are coming later in the week (their request).
11-21-2006, 11:50 AM
Here are mine....I did one with an umbrella and one with a softbox just to see what the difference would be.
This one uses an umbrella. The umbrella is positioned quite high, aimed down, and is about 8.5 feet from the subject. The camera is 5 feet in front of the subject and the reflector is 3 feet from the subject.
This one uses a softbox. The softbox is positioned quite high, angled down, and is about 8.5 feet from the subject. The camera is 5 feet in front of the subject and the reflector is 3 feet from the subject.
Now here's the thing I don't understand. When I look at these in photoshop, they are soooooo dark. I shot them in RAW, so was able to compensate. But my meter reading was suggesting 1/60th at F8 and they still looked very dark on the screen. But when I opened them up in the RAW editor, they looked a bit washed out on the light side. What the heck?
11-27-2006, 10:23 AM
Kim~ my questions have to do with the pic of you and DH and the one of your boys. Were they done at the same time of day? Also, maybe your camera is compensating for the different colors in your shirts and your boy's shirts? I know my old boss used to do a a custom WB EACH time she did a shoot. Maybe that would help you in your colors?
Here are some links that show some different diagrams as well...
11-27-2006, 01:03 PM
Andrea, I found that PhotoFlexLighting School last week. What a great site. I'm actually thinking about signing up for their membership.
As for the photos, they were taken at different times. The set-up was done for hubby and I at night, and the next morning I did the boys. I do think that the white balance may have been a factor and I also think that lowering the lights for the boys would've been a better option since we were standing and they were sitting on the floor.
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