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Lighting Applications & Variations

This lighting is good for a variety of faces and is quite useful for doing beauty shots.  As with the lighting in examples 1.1 and 2.1, this setup is not particularly good at imparting a sense of depth, and people with prominent ears may not look their best with it.  This lighting is not the first choice for broad faces.  It neither thins nor widens the typical face.  As the face is bathed by soft light from above and below,  skin texture is downplayed, making retouching easier.  Both the main light and the white reflector have a non-specular nature, and tend to minimize sheen.   

For a bit more drama, bring the main light in closer and replace the white reflector with a silver one.   You can substitute a medium-large softbox or Octa-something for the Softlighter with much the same result.





Lighting Setup 3.4

Example Portrait 3.4

Here is a lighting setup that is quite similar to that used in example 2.1, but with the addition of a background light and using larger and softer sources.  It is another variation on beauty lighting. 



 The Lighting Setup

The  lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in the in the photograph of the studio below.  A monolight fitted with a medium Photek Softlighter was placed immediately above the camera as the main light, and a piece of foam board placed in front of the subject provided fill lighting.  A snoot made of Rosco Cinefoil (black aluminum foil) was attached to a regular strobe head and aimed at the background.  The output of the background light was set to about 1/2 f-stop less than the facial lighting.  This provided a subtle glow to the background below the model's shoulders.  A strip light was used for hair and shoulder lighting and was set to approximately 1/2 f-stop stronger than the facial lighting.  A stronger-than-normal hair light is often necessary for fine, dark hair.