High-key studio lighting for portraits (part 2)
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 …
The grids on the softboxes help contain the light spill, instead of the light flooding everywhere. The light from behind (via the two gridded softboxes), helped define the contours of the outfit.
I used the Profoto Air system to trigger the two Profoto D1 heads (one on the background, and one in the softbox). To trigger the Nikon Speedlights, I set them to SU4 mode, so that they would be optically triggered when the main lights go off.
Other photo sessions where I used the gridded soft-boxes:
– sequence: setting up the lighting at a photo shoot
– portrait session – Steinway pianist
With Ulorin Vex in this blue latex outfit, I started off with the beauty dish, as it was set up for the previous set. For some poses, the harder light from the beauty dish would give a shadow that is too distinct. (As can be seen in this photo.)
I either had to ask Ulorin Vex to restrict her movements (which would hamper the flow of the shoot), or I had to change to a larger, softer light source. I settled on changing the beauty dish out for the Profoto RFi 3’x4′ softbox (affiliate). Much softer light.
For more info on the processing: Photoshop filters – retouching for portraits
camera settings for all images: 1/125 @ f/8 @ 100 ISO
Other articles about this photo session
- High-key studio lighting / portraits
- review: Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella
- Studio photography: Low key lighting variations
- Behind-the-scenes video clip of the photo session
Photo gear (or equivalents) used during this photo session
- Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella
- Profoto D1 studio light (500 Ws)
- Profoto RFi 3’x4′ softbox
- Profoto beauty dish with a 22″ sock for a beauty dish
- Profoto RFi 1’×3′ softbox with the Profoto 50 degree 1×3 soft-grid
- (2x) Nikon SB-910 Speedlight / Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite