Lighting setup advice

smoke665

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Looking for advice on a lighting setup for a shot I want to try. This will be a low key image, with a black background. Subject setting on a black felt stage, holding a lighted object out in front of them, that is giving the appearance of casting light onto the subject face and body. I know I can create the effect post, (I've done it before) but that isn't the point of this learning experience. The lighted object will be an incandescent light (not overly bright). I also know I likely will need gels on the lights to even out the mixed lighting. So here's the setup I'm thinking.

Capture.JPG


The red dot in front of the subject represents the lighted object. Camera left, is a 2x4 diffused gridded, softbox for fill on the shadow side, flagged. Camera right front is a diffused 7", 40 degree gridded strobe, flagged to keep light off the object. Camera right rear is 7" reflector with 10 degree grid, high kicker. The lighting locations are approximate, and not meant to represent the absolute final placement, but rather a general idea of location.

Another option I thought about was a large Black V flat with a hole to poke the lens through that might do a better job keeping the light off the lighted object. Any comments or suggestions as I start this journey?
 

NS: Nikon Shooter

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I avoid flags by using strips boxes instead — gridded that is.
To holes in flags, I prefer using a hanging curtain.
Tight gridded reflectors is a very good solution.

Have a good time! :cool:
 
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smoke665

smoke665

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I avoid flags by using strips boxes instead — gridded that is.
To holes in flags, I prefer using a hanging curtain.
Tight gridded reflectors is a very good solution.

Have a good time! :cool:
Thought about that, but I'm afraid the light wouldn't be confined to just the face. Might be able to forgo the flag on the key with barndoors?
 

NS: Nikon Shooter

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Thought about that, but I'm afraid the light wouldn't be confined to just the face. Might be able to forgo the flag on the key with barndoors?

Grids — on SB or reflectors — do confine AND generate hard edges
waaaay better than barn doors that are not so hard edged. The prin-
ciple is that — like flagging — it is harder the closer to the subject.
 

mrca

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I have barn doors for my strobes but I prefer to use a pair of clamps that pivot off a main rod. One clamp goes on the reflector, the other can hold a piece of black cinefoil. At this moment have one shaped in a half circle around the lens since I have a 7'octa so heavily feathered away from subject it is spilling light right at the camera. I have the semi circle just out of frame, no flare. With your set up, would use such a flag and with only the modeling light on of the subject hard light, feather it towards subjec til all light is off the light bulb. A second on the back side of that light to prevent background contamination.
 
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smoke665

smoke665

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I have barn doors for my strobes but I prefer to use a pair of clamps that pivot off a main rod. One clamp goes on the reflector, the other can hold a piece of black cinefoil. At this moment have one shaped in a half circle around the lens since I have a 7'octa so heavily feathered away from subject it is spilling light right at the camera. I have the semi circle just out of frame, no flare. With your set up, would use such a flag and with only the modeling light on of the subject hard light, feather it towards subjec til all light is off the light bulb. A second on the back side of that light to prevent background contamination.
You get what you pay for when you use a free online method to diagram your lighting. LOL

In the diagram the soft box is huge, but in reality I planned on a 2x4 gridded, and the distance to the background will be much greater than indicated. With a 40 degree grid on the key, I'm not sure there will be any spill on the background that will show, but it isn't hard to flag it to be sure. I had wondered about going down to a 20 degree grid on the key, to close the light in even more on the face, but until I settle on the lighted object, I won't really know how large of a circle of light I need.

For flags I have various size black foam board and articulating clamps that mount on lightstands that allow me to move them at will, and large 4x8 panels that can be hung from the ceiling, but they are space hogs on the floor. I like the idea of cinefoil on the key - maybe formed in a half moon on the reflector? Then again, a gridded snoot might work, eliminating the need for a flag entirely????
 

mrca

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Always fun trying new things, even if the first doesn't work. I like the cinefoil as it is light, can be clamped to a small stand or to the modifier itself, and takes up little room on set. When using a reflector and grid as kicker somewhat aimed back at camera, the cinefoil c41ed to the bardoors maked them really effective as it can stick out 8-10 inches and be as tall as desired. Again, takes up no space. Oh, and what I love about cinefoil, is not only that it is reuseable, the more crinkled it gets, the stiffer it gets.
 

zulu42

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I'd do a nice scrimshaw hairline in the back, patty cake L, patty cake R, baker's man C, and a high keister light aimed low.
 
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smoke665

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@mrca and @NS: Nikon Shooter so did a test run this afternoon on the setup shown above with the exception that I didn't use the R kicker, and at @mrca suggestion, used molded cinefoil instead of a flag on the right key and a 20 degree grid rather than 40.

Initial test results weren't really what I wanted. The only lighted globe I found had a little LED light that just isn't bright enough. Even though I did a good job keeping the light from the strobes off of it, the reflected light off the subject still overpowers the globe light. Tomorrow I'm going to try powering down the lights and dragging the shutter, to see if I can bring out the globe light more. Other than that I'm out of ideas unless you guys or others have any suggestions.
 
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