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Beach Lighting - one light setup


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9 replies to this topic

#1 FXMPhoto

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 00:45

Here is a cool look with just one light. I learned this setup from the awesome Don Giannatti at one of his workshops. You can also read about it in his book Lighting essentials.

It's called beach lighting because it's meant to reproduce the light you get at the beach when you put the sun behind your subject and let the light reflect off the sand back on to the face.

Place a softbox or beauty dish just behind the subject and then place 2 large reflectors right in front of the subject. The light behind will act as a hair light and also rim out the shoulders. The reflectors will throw beautiful soft light back on the subject's face. You can play with the main light by feathering it up or down to control the amount of back light.

Here is the diagram:
Posted Image

and here is the result:
Posted Image
Flavio Martins
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#2 Ann

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:48

The lighting on her hat is very effective but the facial retouching worries me in this shot.

I find the skin-smoothing technique which you used here to be very smeary in some areas but also to be applied in a rather patchy manner leaving other adjacent areas nearer to their natural state; and there is something very disconcerting about the way in which you retouched her eyes — especially her right eye.

#3 Larry

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:18

Thanks Flavio for sharing this interesting light setup.

I see a difference of almost 3-stops between the light hitting her back and the reflected light on her face but am not really sure.
Did you have a chance to meter the light on her back and on her face?

#4 FXMPhoto

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:39

Ann: I agree the retouching is not my greatest work here. This example I dug out of my archives from a couple of years ago. It is from a meetup session which is a fantastic way to experiment and learn. If memory serves me right, I edited this photo in Gimp using the wavelet decomposition filter which is something I wish photoshop had.

Larry: No metering was done for this shot. The lighting ratio does not bother me in this shot, however, if you wanted to reduce the ratio you can just feather the light up and place the hair and shoulders on the 'edge' of the light.
Flavio Martins
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#5 Larry

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 14:05

Larry: No metering was done for this shot. The lighting ratio does not bother me in this shot, however, if you wanted to reduce the ratio you can just feather the light up and place the hair and shoulders on the 'edge' of the light.


The lighting setup worked very well and this is why I was curious about the light ratio. I will likely have to try this out myself at some time in a studio. For field work, I almost always use multiple flash units instead of reflectors when shooting alone in on-location shoots as the wind can at times get unruly at the perfect wrong time. :)

Edited by Larry, 19 June 2012 - 14:08 .


#6 armando_m

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 14:11

Nice light scheme

I've done that with one reflector, it then creates a bunch of shades, which can also be very interesting

Regards,
Armando 
 


#7 FXMPhoto

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 23:52

Larry:
This is definitely more of a studio setup, but you can also take it outside. Use the sun as the main light behind your subject and then add reflectors all around. This image has 3 small reflectors: one on each side and one below (there were 2 assistants here to hold the reflectors).

Posted Image

Armando: Yes, there are several variations of this setup which will give you excellent results. Just play around! Here is a similar setup which was discussed recently on Strobist.com : With Apologies to Zack Arias...
Flavio Martins
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#8 Ann

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:06

I edited this photo in Gimp using the wavelet decomposition filter which is something I wish photoshop had.


Flavio:

As you have Photoshop, you might try using the Adjustment brush in ACR to brush in "Negative Clarity" (Clarity with a minus value) on skin which you wish to smooth.
That will cut the local mid-tone contrast so that skin looks smoother but still looks like skin.
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#9 EL_guest

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:06

I agree with Larry here on the light and....
What doesn't work for me in the first shot are the huge reflectors showing in the eyes; pupil and iris washed out. Makes the eyes look super strange.
Second shot is really much better with regards to the eyes.

#10 frankv

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:00

Flavio:

As you have Photoshop, you might try using the Adjustment brush in ACR to brush in "Negative Clarity" (Clarity with a minus value) on skin which you wish to smooth.
That will cut the local mid-tone contrast so that skin looks smoother but still looks like skin.


That was a great trick. Had to try it, and in a few easy steps I can now achieve things I have worked hours forefore, without a satisfying result. Used with care this is just what I need for my family photography :D Thanks Ann, great tip!


-frank-

Edited by frankv, 20 June 2012 - 10:00 .





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