Studio lighting is becoming an increasingly popular method of shooting. Various types of photography, such as advertisement and fashion, use this method to get the best possible shots to highlight the products.
However, there are various lights, positions and modifiers that you need to have knowledge of to get the right type of lighting for the picture you want.
After being told how to use these lights, I figured that it would be best to go out and use the studio on my own with someone else, so that I would have a hands on experience on using the lights in my own pictures. This would be beneficial as I would then know what effects the lights would have on my pictures.
Full Frontal with Softbox Level:
The first type of lighting we have to look at is full frontal light. This shot was taken with a soft box in line with the subjects face. This allows there to be an even amount of light to be distributed onto the subject, stopping any side shadows. This type of shot is useful when getting a profile picture of a simple shot.
30° Softbox Light Level:
You can then use the softbox in order to cast a shadow onto the subject. In this picture, the softbox has been positioned 30° to the subject. There is a small difference with this change; the left hand side begins to fade away very gently into the background, yet there is enough detail on that side of the face.
45° Softbox Light Level:
As you would expect from the last shot, by moving the softbox more to the side, the lighting and shadows change a lot. The effect is instant, with a shadow being cast on the left hand side; more of the curves and bumps of the face have been brought out, in more detail. But, at the same time the light is harsher on the right hand side as well.
90° Softbox Light Level:
The final angle is a 90° shot to the subject. This angle is the harshest out of the 4, with the left side of the face covered in pitch-blackness. There is hardly any detail shown at all, so this type of shot would be more useful is you wanted to highlight something in a particular side of the face/body instead.
Rembrandt Shot – Softbox 45° close to subject with a 45° tilt high up:
Rembrandt was an artist that in his paintings, he used to insert a small triangle on the face underneath the eye, against the way the light was shining on the face (so if it was coming from the right hand side, the triangle would be on the left.)
In order to recreate this shot, we needed to make sure that there was plenty of shadow on the face at high angle. This is because the light would hit the bridge of the nose to allow the light to be shown under the eye. So based on the previous work, the 45° angle was the best fit to use this shot, with the softbox then placed at 45° to cast the light diagonally.
Beauty Dish Shot (Parabolic Modifier):
The style of this shot may be familiar if you have a liking for The Godfather… Well for me this was the first thought that came into mind when I saw this shot. It just had the feel of going into a pitch-black office and seeing the Don sitting there.
The Beauty Dish allows a softish light to be shone onto the subject. To create a shot like this, the light was placed high up in line with the subject at a 50° tilt aimed at the forehead.
This modifier allows the detail on the face to be retained, but brings in a high amount of downward shadow on the subject. This also means if you have dark hair against a black background, the hair will be almost hidden from view.
Snoot on hair:
In this shot, the snoot is aimed directly at the hair of the subject, in which you can see the glare off the hair (this allows the hair to be raised off the background as well.) The snoot is used in conjunction with the beauty dish; as if it was just the snoot only the hair would be lit up, with the rest in darkness.
Snoot on backdrop:
In this shot, we used the same set up as in the previous shot, but this time we switched the snoot around so that it would be facing the background. This means the light on the face will be the same as in the original beauty dish shot, yet there are some more subtle changes thanks to the snot. A halo is cast around the head, in which it also is able to bring out some of the detail on the hair by raising it from the background as well.
Shoot through Umbrella:
This shot is very similar to that of the soft box at 45˚. However the light doesn’t reach the subject’s face as much, causing there to be a much softer light hitting the subject. This means that that more shadow is brought on the face. However I feel that this shot is better then the soft box as the light is more flattering on the subject instead.
Compared to the last shot with the umbrella, the light here is much harsher on the subjects face, creating much more detail appearing. I also like this type of shot as although the shadows aren’t as strong, it gives the image an almost pondering mood.