Archive for the ‘Photography Lighting Techniques’ Category
Photography lighting for catalogs is different than lighting for advertising or an editorial. You rarely get the chance to get creative because the objective is to make the clothes look good and show details in the fabric. Many fashion designers use some very nice fabrics and the designers goal is to sell their clothes to buyers of department stores and get them seen in magazines. Therefore the photographer doesn’t really have the freedom to use radical lighting ratios with dramatic shadows. So what kind of lighting is recommended for shooting catalogs ? Well I like very nice Rembrandt lighting. This is where you see the triangle of light under either the left or right eye. The reason I like to use Rembrandt lighting is because it isn’t flat and it isn’t too dramatic and shows the details of the clothes at the same time. Now for this shoot you can see I did a little variation of Rembrandt. It’s not a perfect typical triangle of light under the eye. You can see the shadow is more opened up so there is a little more light on the model’s face. I chose to do this variation because when I originally showed the designer the actual Rembrandt set up, she felt it was a little too shadowed. As you can see in the images that the model’s LEFT side is in a light shadow. Look at the tighter shot and you see her LEFT cheek looks sculpted and my variation of Rembrandt lighting.
I accomplished this by placing a black V-Flat close to the model about three feet away from her. This gives you a negative fill. What’s happening is the large soft box is feathered away from the model a bit and some of the light is actually bouncing into and off of the white wall that is to the left of the soft box. Then that light hits the model, then hits the black V-Flat which soaks up some of the light giving you the negative fill and a nice shadow. You control the darkness of the shadow by moving the V-Flat closer into the model or farther away. Closer in gives you a darker shadow and moving it away lightens the shadow. So what’s cool is I only used one light for this ! I combined the natural light and one strobe to create a lighting scheme that isn’t that flat ugly typical catalog lighting like you see in JC Penny. Please ask me questions and comment ! Click the lighting diagram and you will see it larger.
You can learn techniques like this and much more when you take my two day one on one private fashion photography work shop. Click here for more info.