Home FEATURE ARTICLES Glamour lighting with strobes Part 2
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Written by Jay Allan   
Monday, 05 January 2009 01:03

Glamour Lighting with Strobes: Part 2


There are, of course, lots of different ways to light a model with strobes, and I encourage everyone to always experiment. What I am going to talk about here is a basic, yet very effective way to glamour light. Glamour lighting is a very soft light that covers the model fairly evenly and is primarily frontal in source. It is a soft light and as such hides wrinkles and imperfections in the model's skin. There is not a lot of shadows, so that it looks, well, glamorous.


We will use 6 lights in this example. Starting with a Key Light. This light gives us our overall exposure on the models skin. Since we want to minimize shadows and falloff, we will place the key light as close to the camera as possible. The most common light source here would be a softbox. I softbox gives you soft, directional light. This is ideal. A lot of photographers put the keylight softbox directly above the lens. This gives you the least amount of shadows, and when there is a shadow it falls directly down. The bigger the softbox, the softer the light. Some photographers use a huge softbox and shoot in front of it. Your exposure for the key light will depend on the exposure you want overall. Set this for your desired depth of field (and power limitations) and then adjust each additional light in succession.





The second light we will use is the Fill Light. This will “fill in” and areas that are falling off from the key light. It is usually smaller than the key light, and often not as powerful, however that depends on how even you want your light. The fill light goes on the opposite side of the lens as the keylight, so if your key is above the lens, then the fill would go right under it. If your key light is to the right of your lens, then the fill would go on the left, and so forth.


Next we will add two background lights. These lights will light the back wall (or whatever is) behind the model. You want to light the background separately so that you can add depth and contrast to your image. The exposure on the background should be different than the key light so that you get more separation in the image. Depending on the color or texture of your background you will want to either over, or under expose it relative to the key and fill. The background lights can be anything from a hard light, like an open head, to a softer light such as a softbox or umbrellas. It depends on the mood you are looking for. Usually a couple umbrellas at about shoulder height to the model, one on each side, will give you a nice even background exposure.


Our next light will be the Hair Light. For an overall glamour effect this light should be behind and above the models head. Use a snoot or a grid to control the light so you do not flare the lens. This light should be over exposed about a half stop above your key light. Add more exposure for a brunette :)






The final light in our setup is the Rim Light. Sometimes also called an Edge light, this will accent our models curves, and give the image more contrast. This light is from behind the model on either side. Be careful not to flare the lens. There can be more than one rim light, but I usually just light one side of the model. I usually use an open head with an 8” reflector. If you need a softer light then you may want to use a strip softbox. The strip will control more light spill, and also help with flare issues. The rim light should be around the same exposure as the hair light.


As with all lighting guides, these are meant to be basic rules, and rules are made to be broken. Practice with this setup, and then vary the lights until you get your own look. Experiment and have fun!

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 January 2009 01:51 )