How to build creative lighting setup with multiple lighting units

September 24, 2014   4724 views

studio photography lighting setup

Preparing for one photoshoot, in addition to many accessories I bought a roll of red fabric, and it standing for six months in the corner of my studio finally got its moment of fame, kindling with bright colors in this photo.

Motivated by desire to make a spectacular composition solution, to change the perception of space, I put the model on a stool standing in the corner of my studio.

Unreeled this roll of fabric, I wrapped one part around the model. Another part was laid on the studio floor so that the whole fabric fell into the field of view of my camera lens. Appeared before us a beautiful model, looking at us from his pedestal in a spectacular red dress, a falling waterfall with her ??and the waves spread out over the expanse of the studio.

Unusual spatial decision required a radical lighting solution. And I decided to apply such photography lighting setup that showed my hand-made dress sparkling and shining in studio lights.

One of the basic principles of working with studio lights - the separation of the lighting streams. We must ensure that each lighting source (even if it is the tenth in lighting setup) is covering exact area we need. Not less, not more. So here I decided to separate the light on the model from the light on the dress. I used softbox lighting with honeycomb grid directly above the model's head. The spot of light is very narrow with grid and this lighting source covered only the model’s hands and head as well as a small section of the wall. And it wasn’t touching the dress. I even pushed this softbox deeper into the corner not to have its light over the dress. The model even had to tilt her chin up, not just for a glamorous pose, but also to maintain the correct, academic picture of light on her face. If the photo was taken only with this lighting source, it would look as follows: a dark corner with a subtle silhouette of the model with bright spot of light over upper side of the model, over her head and hands.

Now it is time to light the dress. Wishing to strengthen the effect of the waves, I decided to put the light only on the dress without touching the walls. Such a decision would increase the brightness of the dress turning this piece of red fabric into a glittering, glowing elegant gown. To do this, I took four lighting units with standard reflectors and honeycomb grids and barn doors making spot of light rather not circle but rather oval. Using them I put four oval spots of light over the dress carefully tracing one spot following each other. And of course not to the wall. However some parts of light put on the wall. But in any case we gave to remember that we always have to remember about separating the model from background! Right?

Good Luck!

Aperture: 14
Shutter speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Camera: Canon 5D
Focal length: 32 mm