Daylight and Kinoflo lighting setup

Contemporary artist Marcel Dzama photographed for Vanity Fair
Lighting setup using both daylight and Kinoflo lightpanels

Photographer Mattias Olsson gives us this lighting setup. Shot with two Kinoflos and daylight. The Kinoflos are not strobes, but lightpanels with continous light.

Sport portrait lighting setup

Henrik Lundqvist photographed for Café Magazine.
Sport portrait lighting diagram

Photographer Mattias Olsson shows us how to take better sport portraits, by sharing the lighting setup for this colorful photo of NHL player Henrik Lundqvist.

Portrait lighting with only natural light

Country singer Laura Cantrell photographed for Vanity Fair
Even without any lighting equipment at all you can take amazing photos like this.

New York based photographer Mattias Olsson has taken this beautiful portrait of Laura Cantrell without any artificial light or any reflectors. The only lightsource is the window to the side of the subject. Great inspiration for all us upcoming photographers!

Swimwear fashion and background lighting

Great lighting setup for swimwear fashion photography
The lighting diagram shows that the fashion model stands in the light of the reflectors and not in the direct sunlight.

Eivind Røhne gives you a new great lighting setup.

This is another shot from our fashion trip to Sardegna/Sardinia in Italy. It was a rather cold morning, and we had quite a few bikinis and bathing suits to go through, so we had to work fast. When temperatures are low like this, both the models and clients appreciate it when the photographer can work fast like this. Both on commercial, editorial and catalogue fashion, because you have a lot of stuff to get through. Most of these swimwear shots were done at Hotel Ollastu in Olbia where we stayed during the whole period. It has a lot of wonderful locations and backgrounds, and was also a great place to stay.

We placed the model behind the wall down at the bungalows, so she would be in shade from the direct sun rising to the left in the picture. At the same time the sun created some nice patterns on the stone wall of the bungalow. But the problem was that the background behind the model, with the wall and especially the door, got very dark. Too dark actually. So I started by building up a nice light around the model first. Some people seem to think; reflector = subject, but they’re excellent and effective for lighting up the environment as well. So I set up a large California Sunbounce Pro zebra reflector quite far away, out in the sun. I angled it carefully so that no light from it was hitting the model, but lit up everything else behind her instead. A reflector like this literally throws a big wall of light when placed in direct sunlight, so you have to be careful with what it hits. And the effect is tremendous. You can see the doorframe almost glowing.

Then I set up another reflector on the model. This time a California Sunbounce Mini white. I placed it just out of camera frame, and angled it so it lit up her face and upper body. Her legs got some reflections from the light colored stone ground.

I metered the light on her face with my Sekonic L-358, and got f/5.6 and 1/60 at ISO 100. Shot on a medium format digital Hasselblad with a 210mm lens.

Really love reflectors and natural light in my fashion work!

Cheers!

Lighting setup for swimwear fashion photography

Everyday is a good day for a swimwear photo session. Even if the daylight is a bit dull.
Swimwear fashion photo session behind the scenes

Photographer Eivind Røhne gives you a great lighting setup for swimwear fashion photography:

A lot of the fashion stuff I do is photographed abroad, especially since Norway is a rather cold place in November when we often do new spring and summer fashion stuff. This is for a magazine I work with, and this time we travelled to Malta. We try to utilize the time as best we can, and shoot constantly during the time we’re there. We manage to get a lot of stuff done rather quickly, and that’s great for a magazine. Time is money. And to do that you have to work as light, easy and fast as you can. So most of the time we use California Sunbounce reflectors and also diffusors.

It was a bit cloudy this early morning, with no direct sunlight on the model. Unfortunately the swimming pool at our hotel wasn’t heated, and even though it may look warm, the water was only about 14 degrees Celsius. And when a model has to do 40 swimsuits in cold water, I try to work as fast and easy as possible. A happy model is a good model!

The hidden sun is behind the model to the right in the picture, as you can see from the glow on the skin. To fill in the front side of the model, I used a California Sunbounce mini (with zebra or half gold color as you could call it) right in front of her. I put it at an angle, resting on my camera bag. The model stood about a meter in front of it, stepping in and out of the pool with 40 swimsuits. The light was metered with a handheld Sekonic, to get an accurate reading of the light falling on the model, without the camera being tricked by the lighter background. At ISO 50 I got f/5 and 1/125 secs, and it was all shot on a medium format digital Hasselblad.

As you can see from the behind-the-scenes picture, the light is actually rather dull with no punch or contrast, but the reflector did an amazing job of giving us beautiful soft light.

Hot fashion

A hot senorita in Oslo.
Variations in the lighting setup gives a more punchy expression
Lighting diagram for hot fashion

Norwegian photographer Eivind Røhne gives you a great case studie of hot fashion.

This fashion shoot was for an Italian client, but done here in Oslo (Norway) in the middle of the summer. The theme for this editorial was ”hot”, and my inspiration came from old westerns, with those great looking desert and their deadly hot temperatures. And of course from those hot and exciting Mexican senoritas!

I used the low evening sun of summer about 45 degrees left of my camera, and put up an Elinchrom 600W lamp with a big Octa shaped softbox in the opposite direction of the sun. Or else the model would just be a silhouette. I metered the existing light so the sky would blow out in the areas close to the sun, but keep details in the rest of the blue sky. Then I metered up the Elinchrom to fill in the opposite side of the sun, but not as powerful as the sunlight. Maybe a stop or so below if I remember right. I also had an assistant holding a reflector to fill in some of the shadows in between. Plus, I had an assistant holding an ordinary black umbrella between the sun and my camera, so I could control the amount of sunlight hitting my lens. As you can see from these two shots, one is controlled and punchy, and the other is more hazy and with less contrast. The punchy one is a result of the umbrella being held so that no light reached my lens. The other one, with that fantastic hot summer haze and less contrast, is because the assistant was holding the umbrella so that a little bit of sunlight reached my lens. Not much, just a little.

The whole shoot was shot with a 22mp Hasselblad digital medium format camera tethered to a laptop. Everything from the lighting, laptop, and all the utilities of the hair dressers and the makeup artist was powered by a portable 1200w petrol generator. The model was prepared in a salon before travelling to the shoot, and the rest of the hair and makeup was done on location. Aaahh the great outdoors!

Fashion photography lighting without using any lighting equipment

Fashion photography without using any lighting equipment
Sometimes a window and a wall will do the job

This narrow room is not just an interesting rough looking location. It also provides good lighting possibilities, because of the short distance between the window and the wall on the other side of the room. Cecilie Harris took this photo without using any lighting equipment at all. Impressive.

So if you don’t own a lot of lighting equipment. Just smash down your toilet and you have a fully functional DIY photo studio.

Natural light fashion photography

Fashion photography using only natural light
Lighting diagram for fashion photography in natural light

Believe it or not but this stunning fashion photo by Cecilie Harris is shot using 100 percent natural light. Cecilie and the model were under a bridge to avoid direct sunlight and used the reflected light from the right.