Lighting Test with my daughter

Buckster

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Getting gear and props in order for an upcoming shoot and needed a lighting test for part of it, in order to determine settings to properly light up the model's face with the globe/orb thing. This is my daughter, Casey helping me out with the test:

Lighting_Test_4411.jpg


She'll also be the model for the actual shoot. Hopefully sometime this week if I can pull it all together and her work schedule has her off on a clear evening. We've been having some rain on and off, and the shoot will take place in the woods at night just across the road from where I live. I scouted two locations that I think will work the other day.

Still haven't quite decided which lens I want to shoot it with. I'm leaning toward the 85mm 1.8, but the 50mm 1.8 might actually work out better for it, based on how I see the composition in my mind's eye. Maybe I'll just try both and decide which works best after the shoot's done and I'm reviewing images.

Also not quite sure if I want to keep with the full profile of her that I started the idea with, or if I want to turn her a bit toward the camera. I suppose I should try both of those as well, and see which I like better when it's all said and done.
 

tirediron

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Looks good Buck the only thing I see (and it's minor) is that the light in the orb might be just a little too strong as I can see it through the thinner parts of her fingers. Not sure if that matters or not.
 

amolitor

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Key light looks great, to me.

Did you want her back edge to be indistinct, as her head is here, or did you want a little rim light? Something appears be be lighting some background object giving her back a little definition. This isn't a "right or wrong" situation, obviously, but I thought I'd point it out in case you hadn't clarified that part of your vision yet.
 
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Buckster

Buckster

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Looks good Buck the only thing I see (and it's minor) is that the light in the orb might be just a little too strong as I can see it through the thinner parts of her fingers. Not sure if that matters or not.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm actually kinda of liking that aspect of it because of the way it really shows that the orb is glowing brightly, strongly suggesting that it isn't just some kind of post processing faux-light trick. I think that's a detail that's likely to be important in the final composition, based on where I'm headed with this one.

Still, I'd probably live with it even if it bothered me because the main thing is that it has to properly light her face and upper torso. If I turn it down enough to not show through the fingers, I don't think I'll have enough to light the face the way I want, unless I bring it in closer to her face, which has other problems having to do with the pose and the lighting of the torso and so on. Anyway, I'm good with it, so...

When I first started working this out in my head, I actually considered using a light for each (orb and face), with gridded snoots focused to light them separately, but so that it looks like the orb is lighting her face. I just can't really spare another light though. This is just the lighting test of the orb and model alone, to figure out how much power I'll need during the actual to light her face with it. The actual composition will be much bigger, involving 4 other lights already the way I figure it, and that taps me out unless I get the studio strobes involved, which would mean getting a power source into the woods to do it, and that's just more complicated than I want to get with this thing, tbh.

There's an added component in that, besides the speedlights all needing to fire at the same time, it will also be a long exposure, so I've got some other issues to contend with during the making of the shot. Combining the long exposure and multiple flashes, some with gels, the orb lighting her face and everything else I'll be cooking during the shot will be a bit of a juggling act, even more-so than the 176 seconds long exposure plus 2 speedlights that I did with this one:

The_Enchanted_Place_6273.jpg


This new one doesn't involve making an orb like that, but it will involve another long exposure with light trick I've been wanting to try and this composition will be perfect for it (I hope).
 

squirrels

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I am really looking forward to seeing what you are up too!
 
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Buckster

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Key light looks great, to me.

Did you want her back edge to be indistinct, as her head is here, or did you want a little rim light? Something appears be be lighting some background object giving her back a little definition. This isn't a "right or wrong" situation, obviously, but I thought I'd point it out in case you hadn't clarified that part of your vision yet.
Yeah, it's a tree, lit by a blue gel, just to get an idea of the direction I'm headed with it.

In the final composition, I'm planning to have her positioned so that all the trees that are directly intersecting with her are far enough in the background to be very much an OOF faded woods-at-night kind of background to the scene. They'll be accented with deep blues and greens via gelled speedlights to compliment the warm skin tones and some red I've got planned that is integrated into her otherwise very dark costume.

So, while the blue woods background will help define her outline in the dark, I don't plan for it to be very prominent or bright, like a rim light would be. There will be some trees in her plane that will be in focus with her, and possibly even some closer to the camera which would be OOF again, but all of those will be off to the sides, just to show that she's IN the woods, not that the woods are simply behind her.

At least, that's the idea for the composition as I've been planning it.
 

amolitor

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I wanna take a moment to say that while I probably won't like the final result (just not my kind of thing) I respect the hell out of the fact that you've got a vision and you're pursuing it and you're gonna make something new. It's not a cookie-cutter picture, you're going to break a ton of "rules" in this thing (where's the hair light?!! YOU NEED A HAIR LIGHT!!!") but it's going to be pretty much what you visualized. You're taking your technical skills, the gear you've got on hand, and you're making a new thing straight out of your fevered imagination.

That's what it's all about, man.

Well, unless you're shooting weddings. Then you probably want a bit less fevered imagination and more shots straight out of the book.
 

Tiberius47

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The lighting looks good, but her skin looks like you;ve overdone the smoothing and her makeup looks like it is photoshopped on. :S

Also, the angle of the light is casting some shadows on her cheek due to the natural shape of her face. If she held the orb more to her right (but still looked straight ahead, so she wasn't looking directly at the orb), then her cheek would be more evenly lit.
 

pixmedic

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I am all about "straight out of the book" shots, and I really like where this is going.
Cant wait to see the final product!
 
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Buckster

Buckster

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The lighting looks good, but her skin looks like you;ve overdone the smoothing and her makeup looks like it is photoshopped on. :S

Also, the angle of the light is casting some shadows on her cheek due to the natural shape of her face. If she held the orb more to her right (but still looked straight ahead, so she wasn't looking directly at the orb), then her cheek would be more evenly lit.
All true, and I will attempt to correct all those problems with the actual shoot. That's really all a part of what this test was hoping to achieve: Find the potential problems so that I can head them off during the actual shoot. ;)

The makeup will be done by a makeup artist (in trade for a portrait of her and her kids), and not nearly so heavy either, so I don't expect to use any PS-makeup or skin smoothing at all. This was just to give me an idea of which direction I want to head toward with it (she almost never wears any makeup at all, and had none on for this lighting test).

The costume prop arrived today and looks awesome! It fits her perfectly (I was prepared to have my seamstress sister deal with it, but no need). The last piece of the puzzle is due to arrive sometime between Friday and next Wednesday. In the meantime, I want to finally decide which lens to use, along with the placement of the stands, power and gels for the completed background lighting arrangement, and a few long exposure tests of the special light-painting aspects of the shot.

It's coming together nicely, and everyone involved is getting very excited over it. :)
 
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