This week (Week 9 in the PHTG 1048 Digital Intermediate Photography course) we got to shoot with studio set-ups. Our task was to capture photos of the models with four particular lighting techniques. Those techniques were:
- Rembrandt Lighting
- Butterfly Lighting
- Split or Hatchet Lighting
- and Backlit.
We were also supposed to look at examples of these lighting techniques and bring some in to help show the model what look we were going for. After looking over hundreds and hundreds of examples, I just couldn’t really find anything that intrigued me enough. So, I pretty much went in blind, hoping the model and my fellow classmates could help out.
This would also be the first time I have gotten to play with PocketWizards (the Plus II), studio strobes and electronic light meters. Our set-ups were fairly simple and only utilized 1 studio strobe for each station. It was a bit slow at the start, but it eventually got a bit easier (for me anyway).
Rembrandt Lighting | Model: David
Rembrandt lightning resembles the way that Rembrandt would paint. A small triangle of light should be seen on the shadow side of the face. The triangle placement is typically underneath the eye and should be enclosed by shadow (ie, forms a 3-sided triangle). My attempt wasn’t too bad. Though, since I had no vision for the shoot, I did have a hard time trying to figure out how I wanted him positioned. I ended up only take about 5 photos in total of David. The more I take photos, the more I can envision a look I am going for. Might just take a while until I find a look I want!
Butterfly Lighting | Model: Rachael
You made remember Rachael from the first model shoot we had. This particular shot is a modified butterfly, even though it may seem very faint. The butterfly lightning technique produces a small shadow underneath the nose in the shape of a butterfly (or at least should resemble one). The nice thing about Rachael, she is she will usually pose herself if you can’t think of a way for her. She also sometimes suggests poses too. With the tilting of her head, the butterfly shadow moves slightly to her right.
Here I had Rachael straighten her head so that the butterfly is easier to be seen. I also had one of my classmates position a reflector on her lap so I could soften the shadows under her jaw line. I like how I positioned her to one side of the frame. I tried a few things from moving her to moving the position of the light to see how the butterfly changed.
Split or Hatchet Lighting | Model: Harold
Now this is the only set-up where I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve and I think it turned out not bad. I wanted to have the shadow side completely melt into the background. The set-up for this particular station had a single strobe (with no modifier) on the model’s right (positioned 90 degrees to camera). To ensure no fill or bounced light came back on the model’s left, I had a classmate hold a large black card up.
Backlit with Fill | Model: Bella
So with backlight and fill, what we had was a single strobe placed behind Bella’s head. There were also 2 large white boards placed at 45 degree angles to the camera in front of her with a small gap (about enough to get the camera between) which would bounce the light from behind her, back in front of her. With the light positioned behind her, it would create a halo effect around her hair. Bella was awesome as she would just strike pose after pose after pose. I think my white balance is a tad off with this one as well, but I’ll look at fixing that later. We’re not really supposed to post-process our photos for this course.
I tried not to just stand there looking dumb in front of each model, but I know I did as I tried to figure out in my head what I wanted to achieve. This is something I definitely have to work on, I have to learn what style/look I want and then help direct the model into that style/look. Actually, I don’t have an issue with tell a model to move an hand, tilt their head, what my issue is I just don’t know what look I want. I do find that the more I shoot, the more of an idea builds in my head. I’ll just continue to look at examples, find styles/looks that I like and what to replicate and then try them out when I can.
Not next week, but the week after we go back to doing some studio work. Not sure what will be different, but I hope I can get some ideas in my head by that time.
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