Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by burnws6, Jan 9, 2010.
What style of lighting looks better?
First, it's softer. Better catchlight IMHO.
I just find the ringlight to bring a lot more details out in the picture. Like her freckles. Is it too flat?
But is that wanted really? Most people who have portraits done want smooth, even skin, which usually comes from a large, soft source.
Which is what I did. I used a 60 Westcott Umbrella as well as a 28 Apollo Softbox.
But after that I used my ringlight to create a more commercial look. Something different from the standard portrait look. I'm just not sure if I like it or not.
I prefer the first shot, the umbrella shot over the ring flash. What I dislike about ring flash shots of people is the creation of those weird shadows on the side of the nose. As well as the "jowl-creating shadow" ring flashes produce under the chin of the subject; if you look at the umbrella shot, there is a shadow cast by her entire head, and the shadow falls under the chin area, and it gives a shape and dimension to her head, as her skin stands out in highlight against the dark shadow behind. In the ring flash shot, the opposite is true--her chin takes on a BLACK outline,and the edges of her chin and face at the bottom are DARK, seen against weak shadows all around her head, behind her hair ribbon, as well as the weak shadow around her shoulder line on both sides. Not a very pretty way to portray a face on a young girl...and also a very un-natural shadow pattern.
There is also the ugly, clinical skin rendition of the ring flash. Ring flashes were originally used to document medical and dental procedures, and excel at showing skin defects, uneven circulation of blood, varicose blood vessels,freckles, cavities, etc. The lighting in the top photo flatters her skin,and gives a sort of idealized look to her skin; the ring flash is brutal in revealing every imperfection and detail.
I see your point. Very true. I should have used the umbrella and barely used the ringlight as fill. Maybe that would have looked better.
I don't see too much need for any additional fill on the top photo...I like the way her face is sculpted by the light. Sure, the shadow on the left hand side of the frame is a bit deep and slightly dark, but her face is well-shaped by the light's position.
A second thing about ring flashes; I see a LOT of Model Mayhem photos made with ring flash gear,and to me, on close-range "beauty" and "headshot" type photographs, I think many ring flash units produce an ugly, unnatural-looking catchlight. A brilliant, bright-edged ring of light, surrounded by a darker inner core, with a solid, jet-black dot in the middle of the catchlight....it looks just ugly [to me] on beauty shots. Last week I saw a bunch of a German modeling photos, linked here by Iron Flatline, and I thought the guy from Germany used the ring light to absolutely horrible effect.
What I *do* think looks better than a ring light is a beauty dish, especially when it is used with the white nylon diffuser; it produces a pretty,nice,round catchlight,and can be used as main light or fill light, and it doesn't have that sharply-etched bright outer ring that a ring light shot at close range shows. Of course, if somebody likes the look created by a particular piece of lighting equipment, then their own personal taste is what counts the most. Different choices make the world go round...errr..something like that....
Yes, beauty dish for the win. I did a shoot on seamless a month ago, with 2 softboxes a strobe for bkgrd and a beauty dish. I changed the softboxes around, used 1, used both, used none. But whatever lighting set up I did, I never took away my BD. I love the catchlight it produces like you said and gives beautiful lighting.
I believe although it's hard to tell, a combination of BD were used to make this picture. I've been wanting to try this out for a while.
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What you think derrel?
Looks like a light far camera left and another light with a tight grid?
Well, I see some evidence of a main light source up high and to the left, causing the deep shadow on his collar bone area, and there appears to be an illuminated fill light source camera right, but the shadow density on his collar bone area and his ear looks faked. The shadow cast by the head overall does not match the deep shadow in the ear's center. Images like this one are often PhotoChopped so extensively it's risky to speculate on how they were done. I see evidence of heavy post work on the shot. The key light's shadow effect on the collar bone area and the shadow in the middle of his ear do not match. I think the entire background has been stripped in, and the skin has been worked on quite a bit...if a real fill light were used on the camera right side, the shadow in the ear would be much lighter, but it is not. The head shadow is light, but the ear shadow is almost black.
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