Using One Light for Drama – Lighting Tutorial

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I recently did a big 12 day shoot for one of my favorite clients. My main mandate was to shoot well composed,  evenly lit photos to be used in a new edition of their best selling didactic cosmetology book. As a second mandate, I had to produce “artistic” shots to be used as chapter openers and page fillers.

So the first thing I asked them was what they meant by “artistic”. You know Yanik, dramatic stuff with cool shadows and contrasts. Cool. Just the kind of thing I love doing. 🙂

Since this was a step by step guide describing various cosmetology techniques, I had some free time in between shots to experiment and click away. Why do a separate session just for those shots when I could save time and shoot them in between the step by step shots? 🙂 What was challenging was to work around the working hairstylist without interfering too much. I couldn’t direct the models. I just had to get what I could and anticipate what they might do.

For most of these drama shots, I basically just kept one strobe on  with a 2×3 softbox that I would move around. You’ll also notice that almost all of those shots were done in back lighting to get even more shadows. I would position the strobe between 90 and 45 degrees in front of the camera.

Here are a couple of shots that I did using this one light approach.

As an early Christmas present, here’s a time lapse video  done with my iPhone 3G using the iTimeLapse app. Fun stuff! 🙂

[vimeo 8309295]
[youtube pUigW14e1y0]

3 responses on "Using One Light for Drama - Lighting Tutorial"

  1. Hi! I noticed from the time lapse that everytime you move the lights you dont meter it anymore. How do you meter the light here?

  2. Hi Debbi

    These aren’t stock shots so I don’t have to worry about silly “noise” excuses. 😉

  3. How do you fix the noise in the shadows for istock? These dark areas in the drama shots must have noise?
    Great post…please more studio stuff!

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