Monday, March 2, 2009

Lighting Setup for a Studio Shoot

I received a message asking me how I did the lighting setup for the above photo. I sketch the setup as below.

I placed a light at 45 degrees to the model at the back on the right as my main light. A second light in the front left, again 45 degrees to the model, as my fill light. The backdrop is a piece of simple black cloth. The output power ratio of the main light to the fill light is 4:1 so that I can have good contrast.

I used a light meter to check the output power of each studio light individually first, then the combined power. The final camera setting is based on the light meter reading plus some on-the-spot adjustment by looking at the preview photo at my Canon 20D. I actually over-exposed the photo by 1/3 ~2/3 stop, and then I brought it back in photoshop, again this was done intentionally to have a bit more contrast.

The lens I used is a Canon 28-135mm zoom lens. I like to use this lens for my studio work as it is very versatile, the optic quality is not bad too.

There is one draw-back of this lighting setup. As the main light is coming from the back, it will easily cause some lens flare, especially when your lens is a bit dirty. For this particular shoot, I had to remove my UV filter to reduce the lens flare.

I hope this short write-up is useful to you :)

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