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Lighting Applications & Variations

This is not a general-purpose lighting, but it certainly can be handy for creating moody shots.   You can substitute an umbrella for the Apollo, but this look is most easily achieved with a softbox or other modifier with a front diffuser that can be placed in close.  By changing the size and location of the main light, you can modify the lighting softness and contrast somewhat. 









As much of the light from the main light originates below the subject's chin, this lighting can accentuate eye bags and the line where the soft tissue under the eye passes over the boney edge of the eye socket.  The subject in this portrait had unusually firm and smooth skin under her eyes, making retouching unnecessary.  


Lighting Diagram 3.2b (side view)

Lighting Diagram 3.2a (top view)

Example Portrait 3.2

Here is a lighting setup that was assembled to recreate the lighting used in a hairstyle magazine.  The client wanted a similar look for some of her whimsical makeup and styling shots.  The lighting consisted of a medium softbox (main), a small softbox (hair), and a gelled background light. 


The Lighting Setup

The  lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in diagram 3.2a (top view) and  3.2b (side view) below.  For the main light, a monolight was placed in a 28" Westcott Apollo.  The Apollo is a softbox-like modifier using an umbrella-type frame that sets up and breaks down quickly.  The center of the Apollo was placed just below the subject's nose.  The hair light consisted of a head placed in a small Apollo with a piece of black foam board clipped to the front to keep light from flaring into the camera lens.  One head covered with two layers of deep red gel provided background lighting.  The background was a dark, mottled gray muslin (Botero #23). 

The background light was set so that the average background reflected meter  reading was equal to the main light incident reading at the subject's face.  The hair light registered a incident reading at the hairpiece/flower about 1/2 f-stop less than the main light incident reading at the face.  

A single layer of coarse, black nylon mesh was placed over the lens for minimal diffusion.  The effects of this diffusion are seen primarily in the highlights of the flower.