September 18, 2012
low-key lighting in the studio – with Ulorin Vex
The mood and simplicity of low-key lighting make it especially effective. So when Ulorin Vex appeared out of the dressing room with this black dress, I knew it would work very well with a low-key set-up in the studio.
We had set up the darker background for previous outfits, but for this black dress, the simplified lighting – just a Profoto beauty dish (B&H) – worked especially well. There were two lights behind her to show off the curves against the dark background. The gridded softboxes are exactly the same as shown in a previous article: high-key studio lighting / portraits.
Here is the pull-back shot to show how the lights were positioned …
August 16, 2012
review: Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella
Continuing the photo session with Ulorin Vex in the studio, I decided to swap out the big Profoto 4×3 softbox, for an even larger (but inexpensive) light modifier – the Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella (White / Black) (B&H).
Two things that immediately struck me about the Westcot Parabolic Umbrella … it’s sheer size when folder open. 7 feet if measured across the span of the umbrella’s arc. And when it is folded up, it is surprisingly compact and light-weight. It collapses to a 43.6″ size, and fits snugly into a 3″ diameter carry bag.
The idea behind a parabolic reflector, is that the rays of light coming from it, are parallel. This makes the umbrella very efficient in directing the light to your subject. There are other parabolic reflectors which are actually focusable, but they are very spendy. Thousands of dollars spendy. This makes the parabolic umbrellas like the Westcott really good value for money at only $100, if you’re looking for a large light modifier in the studio. (I’m not sure how practical it would be on location.) The Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella (B&H) appears to be quite sturdy. The ribs are made of fiberglass. It elegantly folds open and closes as easily.
I chose the white/black umbrella over the silver Parabolic Umbrella (B&H), because I wanted a light that would be less specular and contrasty than the silver umbrella was designed to be. Since the white material scatters light more than the silver umbrella, the White umbrella doesn’t really offer any advantage over a non-parabolic reflector. Still, it is a huge light modifier at an affordable price, and light to carry.
The lighting setup is exactly as was used in this article: high-key studio lighting / portraits (part 2) – with Ulorin Vex, except that the Profoto softbox was replaced with the Parabolic Umbrella.
August 6, 2012
high-key studio portraits (part 2) – with Ulorin Vex
Continuing the photo session with Ulorin Vex, doing high-key studio portraits in the studio, she changed into a different costume. I wanted a more interesting edge definition than just the light spilling back from the background, so I added two gridded softboxes to each side …
July 31, 2012
high-key studio portraits – with Ulorin Vex
One of the models that replied to my casting call for a model at my workshops in San Francsico in 2011, happened to be Ulorin Vex. I immediately recognized her, since I’ve seen photos of her in various portfolios. I was both surprised and very happy, since I regarded her as a bit of a superstar. I scheduled a photo session with her for the day after the two workshops in SF, and the images from those sessions appeared a few times on Tangents, and I’d consider them among the best work I had ever done. It helps to have an inspiring model!
Ulorin Vex was such a pleasure to photograph, and so professional, that when she let know me she was briefly visiting the New York area, I jumped at the chance of photographing her again. As I mentioned in my first impressions of the Nikon D800, I now have ready access to a large studio. I have acquired various lighting gear over time, but recently purchased the Profoto D1 Air 500 W/s Monolight Studio Kit (B&H).
So I was all set for the photo session – a wonderful model; superb gear; and a large studio where we could shoot. I shot about 8 different setups, which I intend posting here over the next few days. (So be prepared for a few more blog posts from this session.)
For the first set-up, I decided to keep it very simple with a white backdrop, and high-key lighting …
October 30, 2011
simple lighting setup for studio for studio photography
This photo of Anelisa and Aleona, two of my favorite models, were taken towards the end of the evening of the most recent flash photography and lighting workshop here in New York. The studio that the workshop was held in, had a white cyclorama that was just inviting to be used.
As a recap of manual flash photography, I wanted to show how simple and easy a basic studio lighting setup was … and that it was quite within the reach of every photographer. Well, not the studio itself, but the lighting setup and equipment, as well as the technique, is well within the reach of any photographer …
June 9, 2011
continuous studio lighting – Westcott Spiderlite TD5
When I undertook to do the recent webinars for the Clickin Moms forums, I knew I had to pull a couple of things together to make the webinar presentation as slick as possible. So there were a number of hardware logistics I had to take care of before-hand. The one thing that I knew I would need, was continuous light on me during the webinar. I couldn’t rely on the existing light in whichever studio I was going to broadcast from.
I have previously owned a Westcott Spiderlite kit; one with with three lights. However, when I found it under-powered when using the daylight fluorescent tubes, I sold it again shortly after. Nothing beats the amount of light that a flash unit puts out. But, I needed continuous light now. Looking at my options, I checked out the latest Westcott Spiderlite kits again. They now sport larger and brighter daylight-balanced fluorescent bulbs. The Spiderlite TD5 Light Kit (B&H), that I settled on this time, puts out a total of 220W. Or as it is now described, 220 Total Fluorecent Watts. Quite bright!
After the we had wound down broadcasting the latest webinar, we still had use of the studio … and my favorite model, Anelisa, agreed to linger a while so that I can play with the Spiderlite and see what we can come up with.
May 5, 2011
photography: mixing different light sources in the studio
While playing around in the studio late this evening with a group of attendees at the Treehaven workshop, someone challenged us each to come up with an idea, using any of the lighting equipment there …
December 13, 2010
My friend Chuck Arlund is a Fashion Photographer whose elegant photography is something I always admire. Chuck’s previous guest spots here have been well received. His article on simple on-location lighting techniques using a reflector & flash, was especially popular. Therefore I’m really glad that Chuck is graciously sharing with us how he came to shoot this stunning photograph for Parasuco.
Do check out Chuck’s website and blog for more of his stunning photography.
Fashion photo shoot, using multiple lights
Hey there everyone! I have been working with a celebrity stylist and we have shot a few fun projects together. Just for our books. She uses Parasuco a lot for her clients, like Bon Jovi. One of the images we shot was pretty cool of the model wearing some of their jeans. She sent it to them to show what she was doing. They loved it.
A few weeks later the MUA of the original shoot wanted to do some beauty shots. Parasuco had sent some stuff to the stylist for us to shoot and see how it looked. During the beauty shoot we did some shots for Parasuco. After I had processed a few we sent them to the company. They really loved them and ended up purchasing a year license to use this image. It will be a billboard in the airport in Berlin and trade show magazine adverts.
Here is the tutorial explaining the setup for this shot. I used multiple lights …
Filed under: flash photography
— Tags: fashion shoot
, flash photography
, lighting setup
, multiple lighting setup
, studio photography
— Neil vN @ 9:03 am
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September 23, 2010
pin-up photography – white on white
I had the great pleasure last night of attending a meeting by the Hudson Valley Click – a lighting and photography group in the Hudson Valley area of NY. The motive behind their meetings and photo shoots is to bring photographers, models, makeup artists, hairstylists and fashion designers together on monthly themed events. All designed for learning and portfolio building.
My friend Peter Salo invited me to the 50′s style pin-up photography session that was held last night in Sandy O’Shea’s studio. (Sandy, thanks for allowing us to create havoc.) There were four models, and there were make-up artists and hair stylists.
Along with the photos of two of the models shown here, there is also this pull-back shot of how I set up the lighting for these images …