First Try At Studio Lighting
/forum/topic/1165942/1

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Peter Figen
Registered: Apr 28, 2007
Total Posts: 3141
Country: United States

See what happens when you make a nice looking histogram? Often makes the photo boring. This is really flat, but the exposure and color are better.

If I were you I'd start by buying a bunch of magazines and start cutting out the shots you think are really great - study the light, study the catchlights and the overall feel and try to emulate what you like.



novicesnapper
Registered: Nov 15, 2012
Total Posts: 46
Country: United States

Much better! I tested mine last night and they zeroed right in, when I adjusted wb for the bulb kelvin in LR3.6. Also did a few other tweaks and they will work fine. And yes, my histogram went to the left also, just touching the border. When all was adjusted, it was back a little and into a nice slope. Almost identical to you'res. I think my two front lights were about 4 feet in front also. I have the 3rd overhead box (hairlight), that I may pull and use around 6 feet low in front, just sit on the floor, to knock back any under chin shadowing, or later use on the BG.

After adjusting to you're desired level, save that preset in LR and then when you use the lights, you just click that preset and it brings it close for final tweaks.

Nice job Ken.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13033
Country: United States

Diggin' the progression ...

Here's a little bit of a levels & color balance tweak along with some sharpening.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8548
Country: United States

A definite improvement over the first and second photos, in my opinion. (I disagree with Peter on this, it would seem. I don't find that proper exposure makes for "boring" images. That's a matter of posing and expression, as well as light and shadow placement. You can do all of those things and still have proper exposure.)

The biggest change on this latest one was the color balance; much more natural looking.

Keep it up.



novicesnapper
Registered: Nov 15, 2012
Total Posts: 46
Country: United States

I agree, very nice. I think if you could get him slightly grinning but not squinting, it would fire this right up as far as emotional. Easy to see he's a squinter lol, so am I. Again, great work, moving right along.



Peter Figen
Registered: Apr 28, 2007
Total Posts: 3141
Country: United States

The problem with the latest effort, which does look better color and tone-wise, is that it also went back to super flat copy lighting, with one light on each side. No modeling of the shape of the face. No mood. Boring. I think this is a self portrait, which can explain the expression, which doesn't really matter at this point, as this is just an exercise in lighting and exposure at this point. First things first.

This is not to say that you can't light faces this way, as plenty are done like this, but for most images, it's not a flattering way to go - if you're trying for an image that has some emotional impact. That's why, in an earlier post, I suggested moving both lights to one side an using a fill card on the other, which creates a sense of movement and shape.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13033
Country: United States

Peter Figen wrote: I suggested moving both lights to one side an using a fill card on the other, which creates a sense of movement and shape.



Given, the low output of these lights, the close distance to subject and corresponding falloff rate ... it seems to me that trying to have the light travel past the subject (i.e. farther) and reflect (even farther) will be a challenging endeavor to provide meaningful control / variation.

That being said, I'm wondering if a better approach to getting away from the "copy lighting" that Peter is referring to might be to simply vary the distance, i.e. left @ 3 feet, right @ 4 feet, etc. ... in conjunction with varying the orientation, i.e. left @ 45 degrees, right @ 15 degrees, etc.

I think the output of these continuous lights is simply too low to be of the same value using reflective strategy / approach that we are accustomed to seeing with more powerful light sources, i.e. electronic / sun / etc.

The improvement in exposure and color is certainly been a worthy one ... now it becomes modeling & creative use as you progress more, but I'd be surprised if all on one side and reflecting yields good practicality @ control/results with such a low output source. Just something to consider ... looking forward to seeing more.



novicesnapper
Registered: Nov 15, 2012
Total Posts: 46
Country: United States

I so agree RustyBug. I see photographers move and change softbox angles to subject and distances all the time, and this did occur to me as well, changing lighting angles and distances to create shadowing and depth. I shared some of my images with Ken for comparison, and he agreed they don't look flat at all. There is no green caste as some claim and no strobing' banding effect on mine. I like the potential on this as well and think Ken is closing in on a great solution. I personally like low key rich warm images. I'm looking forward to seeing more of his work.



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