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02-15-2020, 03:33 PM - 4 Likes   #1

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 436
Revisiting old photography books.

Hello, it's me, again .
I was bored so I liked to share some of my boring speech and a couple of pics. Thanks for your patience.

I'm lately following the Adorama OnSet series, as well as the LitUp series with Joel Grimes. There is a lot of information and ideas there. I confess that I bought some things after seeing several chapters, for example a strip light or an umbrella cover. I bought the last one for less than 20, and it was a superb purchase. I have a semi-parabolic umbrella that bought maybe 9 years ago, but I didn't use a lot, it took me time to learch how to use it. I noticed that Joel used a lot of such big umbrellas with a diffusion cover, so I bought one for my 1m parabolic umbrella. It was amazing, I converted my umbrella into a medium softbox, it gives now a great and soft light, and it's very efficient, more efficient than any other softbox I have, really great guys.

So, about the 'revisiting' thing. I have a book of Monte Zucker, that's about doing portraits 'Monte style'. There is a chapter about lighting, but he barely explains how he does the setups exactly, you can see only some tiny BTS photos. But he talks about a two (and three) light system that he uses a lot and that gives a light he liked. When I bought the book several years ago I really didn't know a lot about lighting (well, it's not very different now ), but I was re-reading the same chapter some days ago and tried to understand the two lights setup. As I understand, he uses a light from the side, another angled 45 on the same side, and a reflector on the other side. He doesn't explain why two lights on the same side and how to put it exactly or what relative power settings to use.

My interpretation is that the side light it's not just a hair light, he uses the two light to do some wrapping to the subjet, and the two lights are not too different in intensity, so they seem a single ligth source, with some variation in intensity. This connects with some concept I saw on the videos of Joel grimes, when he uses a big long source that is more intense near the subject and less intense away from the subject. It not only creates a soft light, with soft shadows, but also the light side have some kind of gradient.

So, this is what I finally made:

I set a light on the side illuminating the hair and part of the face; I used a strip light because... I had one. The second light was my new poor's man round softbox (well, maybe has more sense to not mix round and square lights). The first light is +0.5 EV stronger than the second. I measured the exposure on the middle of the face, so my idea was to create a light more intense on the right side of the face and then started to decrease, then you had the shadows, etc. You can see my black background and the Godox V1 giving a touch of color. No fill light.

The results with two very handsome babies

Regardless if this is Monte style or not, I liked the results, so I'm going to work with this lighting setup. The side light really added to the pic (I don't have any photo without the side light, sorry). I'm just imitating what others have done before, but I learn a lot and it's a good way to improve. Maybe in a few years, I will be able to create my own lighting.

I hope you like it, regards.

02-16-2020, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Dale H. Cook's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 87
QuoteOriginally posted by morenjavi Quote
Maybe in a few years, I will be able to create my own lighting.
You are well on the way. About the only suggestion that I would make is that it is best to have some contrast between the background and the model's hair to separate the two.

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