Using 2 lights in the studio moving it around my subject

This series of nine photographs are to demonstrate the effect of using two types of studio lights when taking portrait photographs of a model.  The positioning of the lights were moved to show changes the lighting and the effects created.

These photographs are part the assignment theme of portraiture and lighting techniques.changing the light using 2 lights .jpg

Photograph 1
20° softbox, 220° spotlight
Photograph 2
60° softbox, 260° spotlight
Photograph 3
100° softbox, 300° spotlight
Photograph 4
140° softbox, 340° spotlight
Photograph 5
180° softbox, 0° spotlight
Photograph 6
220° softbox, 20° spotlight
Photograph 7
260° softbox, 60° spotlight
Photograph 8
300° softbox, 100° spotlight
Photograph 9
0° softbox, 180° spotlight

How I created these pictures.

The photographs were created in the studio using a white background. I set the camera up on a tripod, the camera did not move.  The camera and settings also remained constant for the series of photographs, Nikon D40X, Focal length 42mm, ISO-100, F-Stop f/16, 1/60 second exposure.  I used two lights directly opposite each other, a softbox light and continuous spotlight fitted with a honeycomb grid over the front to help focus the light beam on to the model and stop the light from spilling and splaying out beyond a narrow beam.  The lights were moved around in a circle placed at 40° intervals with the model positioned in the centre. After each photograph the lights were moved around 40° from the last point. This was repeated until the circle was completed.  Both the hard spot light and the softbox light was positioned above the model’s head shining down on to the models head and shoulders.

The spotlight is very powerful and bright compared to the more diffused light generated by the softbox. The spotlight has a harsh blue tone compared to the slightly warmer light from the softbox.

The photograph 5 (centre) with the hard spot light aimed straight at the model’s face, with the softbox immediately behind the model.  The model’s face is very pale, bleached by the intensity of the light shining on the face, part of the left eyebrow is lost because of the bright intensity of the lighting.  The detail around the eyes, nose, mouth and chin appear flat.  The photograph 9 the model’s face is illuminated by softbox and behind the head the hard spot light.  The light from the softbox is not so strong and does bleach out the face, the light from behind highlights the shape of the head and hair providing a sharp outline with a halo highlight on the hair.  If the hard spot light lamp were raised higher and extended behind the model’s head so the lamp and the light stand would not be seen in the photograph.

When these are contrasted with the photograph 1, the softbox lighting is approximately 20 degrees to the left of the model’s face, the majority of the face is illuminated with warm soft tone lighting that compliments the model’s skin tones and hair.  There are some shadows that show depth around the eyes, nose and chin and the cheek bones.  The hard spot light from behind at 220 degrees gives a highlight to the top right hand side of the head and enhances the variety of colour tones within the hair are visible.

Photograph 6, the reciprocal lighting photograph with the hard spotlight at 20 degrees and the softbox behind the face at 220 degrees demonstrates the diffuse lighting created using the softbox compared to the strong light and the face that is half illuminated and half in shade.  The softbox lighting from 220 degrees gives a more gentle light to the models hair, but none of the light from behind shows on the models face.

Photograph 7. The spotlight is shining from the side of the face gives a strong illuminated left side to the face, left cheek and ear and left side of the nose, but the front of the face and, mid line of the nose and right side of the face is in shadow.  The diffused softbox lighting from the right is positioned behind the head, but some of the light catches the corner of the right side of the models face.





softbox spotlight + honeycomb grid


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