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| p.1 #8 · C&C on Studio Lighting |
What you used was a crossed light strategy which is why some of the shadows are very dark and you've got that odd little shadow under the nose and the dark shadow under the chin where the shadows of the two lights crossed.
A more natural looking lighting strategy is to put the key light to the side 45° from the nose, similar to the pattern when facing 45° to a north facing window. Vertically you want to adjust based on two goals: 1) getting light in both eyes, and 2) how the shadow from the nose falls. In your shot the right eye (photo left) is shaded and dark.
To avoid the second fill light from creating crossed shadows you need to keep it centered, flat, and shadowless as possible; about chin level. If you raise the camera above the eye line chin level will be just under the lens.
Like most you probably think of fill as something you add after key to "fill" the shadows, but in terms of actual cause and effect the fill source is under the highlights the key light creates.
Try this little experiment wearing a white shirt colar and black sweater or coat
1) Set up just the fill centered under lens with camera on f/8
2) Raise fill until you just see detail in the black sweater. White shirt collar will be gray because camera can't handle the full tonal range if the white <> black clothing.
3) Now slowly raise the power of the "key" light 45° from the nose. Starting with the fill set from the shadow it will create highlight over those shadows. Just raise the power until you see the white shirt color start to clip in the playback warning and back off until the warning disappears.
With the centered fill you will not have the dark crossed shadows as above. The nose being closer to the fill source will have the lightest shadow and the shadows will get darker towards the ear as the intensity of the fill falls off front>back. That looks more natural than fill from the side which makes the ear closer / brighter and the nose the darkest shadow on the face.
More than likely with your huge modifiers as you raise the key light the big footprint will bounce off the walls and ceiling and create wrap-around "spill fill" which will make the shadows lighter than in step 2.
In a small space that can make it very difficult to control the lighting ratio, which is why smaller modifers which cover the subject and little else are often better so you can precisely control the lighting ratio. It's a bit of a cat and mouse game to adjust lighting ratio when there's a lot of uncontrolled spill fill.
If you reduce the power of the centered fill to make the shadows darker, to compensate for the spill fill, you'll see the highlights also get darker, because the key overlaps the fill. So after reducing fill to make the shadows darker you'll need to raise the key a bit to correctly expose the white shirt just below clipping.
Trying that exercise will allow you to see by comparison why the crossed light / shadows strategy you used isn't really very flattering and will help you better understand the roles and interaction of key and fill. You'll also be more aware of the role / effect of all that light your huge PLM is bouncing around the room.