Studio lighting

Working with studio lighting can be a frustrating exercise if you find yourself adjusting and readjusting a number of lights, unable to get them right. i find the easiest way is to put the lights in place one by one, beginning with the main light. i position that to get the overall effect i want, and only when i am completely satisfied that i have got everything i can from it do i go on to put a second light in place to soften the shadows or highlight another part of the image or the background. When this feels right, i then add a third light, and so on. if you set up too many lights at once you risk confusion as to exactly what each light is really contributing to your setup.

Light Setup Nude

Frontal lighting

One frontal spotlight gives a similar effect to an on-camera flash, rather like police mugshots anc amateur snapshots, and for this reason it is used for grunge and deliberately "amateur" images.

Side lighting from the right

One softbox placed at the right side of the model sculpts his body and lights his face. This is ideal lighting for fine art nudes, but looking into the flash may be uncomfortable for the model.

Lighting from below

Light coming from directly below the model gives a dramatic, cinematic, and rather sinister effect. it is most often used to give the immediate impression that the subject is someone to be feared.

Side lighting from the left

With the model in the same pose, this gives a similar but reversed effect as lighting from the right. Because the model's right hand is on top of the left it is fully lit, but his face is now lost in shadow.

Lighting the face

Directing the model's face towarc the light, wherever it may be placed, means the eyes will be immediately visible, which helps to make a connection with the viewer. Choose the body pose, position the lighting to sculpt the body, then direct the face accordingly.

Lighting Face

Lighting from above

Here the light source is above and also slightly behind the model, creating a mysterious, ethereal glow which is often used in films when angels or extraterrestrials enter the scene.

Lighting from behind

Two spotlights behind the model are performing a different function: the one on the right illuminates the model's profile while the left, weaker, light helps to separate him from the background.

Lighting from below right

A softbox set low and to the right of the model gives a dramatic and beautiful light. The model's expression, though it hardly differs from the other images, gains strength and impact.

Lighting from top left

Leaving the face in shadow creates intimate images. Here the light is thrown on the model's torso and shoulder, emphasizing his strength and masculinity in spite of his averted gaze.

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