playing with Low Key lighting - Self Portraits

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
With a friend's current interest in Low Key lighting, I thought it would be fun to play around with it a bit! Let me know what you think.....

#1
lk3.jpg


#2
lk4.jpg


#2
lk2.jpg
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,229
Reaction score
18,906
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'd add a couple more candles to the candelabra next time, or have an assistant strike a couple more matches. My favorite of these nocturnal-looking shots is the first...the sunglasses + low light look is, uh....well, it is what it is...
 
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'd add a couple more candles to the candelabra next time, or have an assistant strike a couple more matches. My favorite of these nocturnal-looking shots is the first...the sunglasses + low light look is, uh....well, it is what it is...

hahaha... single gridded mono on subject right. Too low key, I guess is you are hinting at? :) Or maybe I shouln't have used a split lighting pattern?
 

blackrose89

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
265
Location
South Florida
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Oh cool! I really like the first one, love the rich color in the guitar. Ok I think I have a much better idea now :)
 
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Oh cool! I really like the first one, love the rich color in the guitar. Ok I think I have a much better idea now :)

hahaha.. Don't use my stuff as a reference.. Derrel says it ain't good... then it ain't good! :)

Edit.. I guess I should have pulled a reflector out.,, and placed it subject left.. softened those shadows a bit. They were meant to be moody.. maybe I overdid it! lol!
 
Last edited:

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,229
Reaction score
18,906
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I didn't really say it wasn't good--I was just suggesting that the lighting scheme used in these three is awfully dark...just a HINT more of you would be helpful...a hint of shoulder for example. In the top photo, your head just floats above the guitar, with no visible means of support...I just do not think these are quite as effective as they could have been with, say, a little bit more light used....maybe a wider-angle grid, like say a 35 degree, or move the flash back and boost the power with the same grid fitted, and give just a hint more of the MAN holding the guitar...I think it's good to leave the viewer's mind free to imagine and fill in some details, but these are lacking the low,low tonal values, and go straight to blackness a bit too rapidly.
 
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I didn't really say it wasn't good--I was just suggesting that the lighting scheme used in these three is awfully dark...just a HINT more of you would be helpful...a hint of shoulder for example. In the top photo, your head just floats above the guitar, with no visible means of support...I just do not think these are quite as effective as they could have been with, say, a little bit more light used....maybe a wider-angle grid, like say a 35 degree, or move the flash back and boost the power with the same grid fitted, and give just a hint more of the MAN holding the guitar...I think it's good to leave the viewer's mind free to imagine and fill in some details, but these are lacking the low,low tonal values, and go straight to blackness a bit too rapidly.

Understood... and I agree! Totally! I did make them a bit stark.. sort of fits the mood I am in! lol! I could have setup a rimlight... just a touch to increase separation. May shoot some more.... it is fun!

Thanks... Derrel, I appreciate the feedback!
 
Last edited:
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ok.. reshot...

First set was single gridded mono on me.. no hairlight / rimlight... no background light.

Second set : (still going for a split pattern on my face.. just not so intense.. with better background separation.)

Single gridded mono on black background with blue gel - set to just barely visible (for background separation)
single mono on me bouncing in 64" silver parabolic umbrella
Single SB-900 above and slightly rear on boom set to 1/128 for hair

#1
_DSC8042-crop.jpg


#2
_DSC8038min-umbpg.jpg
 

Robin Usagani

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
10,348
Reaction score
2,176
Location
Denver, CO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
do you have to have dark background to do this? I am not much of studio lighting person. If you are in a room, the lights will bounce everywhere wont it?
 

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,609
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You need more cowbell.

Instead of hitting the background, try turning the background light onto you. This will give a slight halo effect that will separate you from the background.
 
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
do you have to have dark background to do this? I am not much of studio lighting person. If you are in a room, the lights will bounce everywhere wont it?

Low key requires a darkish background... and it is the control of the light that is interesting. You try not to bounce it everywhere! :)
 
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You need more cowbell.

Instead of hitting the background, try turning the background light onto you. This will give a slight halo effect that will separate you from the background.

I did consider that.. but wanted to play with a gelled background! That is what makes this fun.. there are so many options.. and ways to change things around. :) I also shot some of the same.. with a reflector on my left.... might post one of those shortly.

Thanks for the tip, though! :)
 
Last edited:

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,609
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Although I'm using a different lighting pattern, this is what I associate with low key lighting. I do not have a floating head since the shoulders (foundation) can clearly be seen.


CLICKY




BTW, is that goose egg permanent?
 
Last edited:
OP
C

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,144
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Although I'm using a different lighting pattern, this is what I associate with low key lighting. I do not have a floating head since the shoulders (foundation) can clearly be seen.

BTW, is that goose egg permanent?

Nice shot.. I was going for a little more extreme shadows, though! Yea.. that goose egg is from getting shot with a pellet rifle when I was about seventeen or so. Buddy had a BB in it, and I had to pop it out of my skin like a pimple. It bruised the bone.. and that is why I have that calcification there! We were some crazy kids.. and didn't have paintball back then! :)
 

MTVision

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
3,008
Reaction score
527
Location
Vermont, US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Schwettylens said:
do you have to have dark background to do this? I am not much of studio lighting person. If you are in a room, the lights will bounce everywhere wont it?

I did see online you could do low key lighting with no backdrop. Instead you'd use 2 rooms - one blacked out and one lit up. Not really sure how it'd work though - I'd have to look it up.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top