Gym progress shots

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GFruge, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Guys,

    Looking for some advice on an upcoming shoot that I have. The local gym that I attend has a program where women lose weight. They've been at it for awhile and the program is coming to an end.

    Any suggestions on lighting? These will be full-body shots. I have a good selection on lights, accessories, and reflectors. Just needing some tips or advice.

    I have my poses down pretty good. Nothing dramatic, but something simple that will make them look slimmer. Just separating their arms from their body and positioning them at a slight angle from the camera. Their previous photos were just the normal against-the-wall shots with their arms at their sides.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you want to bring out muscle tone & definition, use hard directional light. If you don't, use a softer, flatter light.
     
  3. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Are we talking dishes on the strobes? How many lights are we talking? Directional, from which angle? 90 deg, 60 deg, 45 deg?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There really isn't a right or wrong here...and each situation is different.

    To bring out texture (including muscle definition) you want to light the subject (main light) from the side which causes the texture to have a visible shadow.
    The amount of fill light will determine how dark those shadows will be.

    Some would call this dramatic lighting...and it can be tricky because it's not always flattering, in a traditional portrait sense. But you see it a lot with muscle builders & fitness models because it can highlight their rippled muscles. If your subjects aren't up to that level of fitness, then you may want a more traditional lighting set up with a soft main light at 45 degrees.
     
  5. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Perfect. I'll try a few options on the shoot. Only thing I'm really concerned about is the lighting accessories. Looks like going to harsh lighting is the way to go. What's your opinion on softboxes? Should I go dish or softboxes? I'm really not going to consider umbrellas, just too much chaos with the lighting.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Beauty dish or straight up reflector dish?

    The bigger the light source (and the closer to the subject), the softer the light will be. So that that into account when deciding what accessories to use.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd use the soft box for the main... the fill could be umbrella, and back it off a bit.

    But do heed what Mike tells you about having the main well off to one side. This will create shadows, and shadows show shape.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  8. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Would you need to hit the subject from both sides at 45 degree angles with a strobe, or just one side (assuming you also have a soft box above the camera)..?
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, no. The MAIN light, the one off at an angle, will create the shaping or modeling to show form. The FILL light should not create shadow of it's own. That one should be close to the camera and somewhere around half the output of the main.

    -Pete
     
  10. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Ahh, okay. Now, can you use a continuous source in a softbox as the fill light on a boom above the camera, and then a strobe off at an angle as the main?

    The reason I ask is my father in law is giving me a new Wescott Spiderlite TD5, and I plan on picking up a SB-800... so that scenario would be using what I plan on owning shortly.
     
  11. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Or go for one of the standard fitness shots, glamour light from above the camera with a beauty dish or something, and wing lights shooting in from the back at around 20-45 degrees. I see that a lot. It gives a nice rim light on both sides, and makes their face look really nice. the more you bringthe back light around to their sies, the more texture and shape they will reveal in the front of the body.

    Or you could sandwich them between to small strip softboxes. There's a hundredthings you could do, only you can know the right answer when you get to the shoot and see the people.
     
  12. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Build a big lightbox and put them in there..
     

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