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| p.1 #7 · Free 6 Part Creative People Lighting Video Series |
Lately, I have received many emails with "technical lighting" questions and scientific portrait lighting terms. To be truthful, I am not technical at all and terms such as "short lighting or broad lighting" are not part of my vocabulary.
As an assistant in commercial studios, we might say, "lets do a soft closed v-bank setup from the right side with a dark background". Our lighting setups were called by the lighting modifier name, background color and brightness, and specular or diffused light quality.
Or we called it after a job we shot. Lets do that "last GAP lookbook catalog lighting".
Regardless of the lighting modifier used, we ALWAYS setup the day or morning before, and shot a series of lighting test images to dial it in for this specific client.
Each studio environment is different. Your studio may be your living room or garage studio. Your studio may have skylights or windows. Your studio walls may be white, gray, black, or wood paneling. All these situations will effect your specific lighting setups and image results.
When I asked my Brooks instructors a lighting question, they smiled politely and replied, "do a test". They were not rude, but simply pointed out that "lighting test results" are specific to your shooting environment, digital workflow, and camera menu setup.
Your RAW digital workflow and camera menu setup may/will effect the contrast of your images. I set my camera for very low contrast because I prefer to add contrast in RAW processing. But that is just me and my workflow.
Shooting tethered to your laptop, CamRanger, iPad, etc is very fast and will show results specific to YOUR camera settings and studio environment. I shoot tethered to my calibraited laptop and view the test images in my RAW software, LR5.
Lightroom will display my image with my custom or specific develop modules applied. The camera LCD display is OK for a histogram, but doesn't show how the image will look in LR5 with my preset.
What works for a forum member in their Iowa studio will be slightly different than what will work in my LA studio. Run a lighting test and avoid surprises on client shoot day.
After a while of testing lighting setups, you will have a "gut feeling" of what works and what does not. With experience, we can dial in a lighting setup in 10 minutes or less just about anywhere
As they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words…..do a lighting test and all your questions and concerns will be answered.