Butterfly lighting setup with Denice Andrée

Butterfly lighting setup with Swedish model Denice Andrée

This is a lighting setup by swedish photographer Carl Magnus Swahn.It is actually a classic butterfly lighting setup. I think it gives a very feminin character and I find suitable for classic beauty photos. This specific setup has the soft box with angle closer to the camera lens and less from above, so the characteristic butterfly shadow under the nose is not so prominent.

The photo was shot with a Lastolite Hilite 2,5 x 2,15 m giant soft box as a background. It was lit up by two Elinchrom strobes with a red/pink-ish gel filter to get that pink background. The gradient in the background was later enhanced in Photoshop. It’s difficult to see in the lighting diagram, but the Lastolite Hilite soft box is really huge. It’s like a huge lit up backdrop that easily can cover a full figure modell.

An Elinchrome Ranger (even though it was indoors) with a large soft box above the camera pointing at Denice. There was also a table with a silver metallic rescue blanket on it, used as a giant reflector. That gives a rectangular shape of the reflector and a much nicer catch light in the eyes.

If you zoom in on the photos and take a close look at the catch light in the eyes, you can clearly see the large soft box from above as well as the reflector from underneath.

The bokeh blur was added in photoshop.

The Lastolite Hilite Soft box is much larger than shown in the lighting diagram.
More photos with butterfly lighting setup with the Swedish model Denice Andrée

Fruit splash photography lighting setup

This is a setup from the swedish photographer Carl Magnus Swahn.

– I used a small aquarium filled with water, and then I simply dropped different fruits in it. I dropped the fruit with one hand and triggered the camera via remote with my other hand. It took a while to get the timing right. Between every shot there was water drops on the inside of the aquarium, so I had to wipe it before the next shot to avoid blur.

These photos are from a series of about twenty different fruits dropped in water. So there was a lot of wiping the window of the aquarium. And a lot of retakes when the timing wasn’t perfect.

If I had to do it again today, I would probably done much more in the post editing. Even for those photos I reused parts of the best splashes. The most resonable way of doing this could be taking separat photos of just the water splash and the surface, and then edit in the fruits. Then I would be able to photo all fruits from perfect angles and combine it with perfect photos of splashing water.

I used two Canon EX 550 for this shot. They burn pretty fast, so the water splash can freeze. I had one with a soft box behind the aquarium and one without modifier from the right side. On the opposite side I used a reflector. I shot many different fruits and there was many different strobe settings depending on if the fruits were light, dark, colorful etc.

The splash makes the photo a bit more interesting than a regular still life photo of fruits.
If you look closely, you can recognise parts of the splash pattern that has been reused in the photo editing.
Two Canon EX 550 were used for this shot.

Portrait lighting setup with a reflector and a strobe

The reflector gives a soft light and the strobe from the back adds som details.

Here's the lighting diagram for the photo above.

This is a perfect lighting setup for all you that don’t have so much equipment but still want to take professional photos. All you need is one strobe that you can fire remotely and a reflector. Indonesian photographer Meggy Irawan shows us how the it’s done.

Reflector and natural light

Lighting setup and lighting diagram

Cecilie Harris tells us how she took this photo using only a window and a reflector: – “Shot indoor at the Ragged School Museum that provides a lot of natural light coming in through windows and even holes in the ceiling. This image was shot for my “Boys by Girls” project (www.boysbygirls.co.uk) for the first coffee table book for this project.
When I have enough daylight to play with that comes in even if I’m shooting on an indoor location, I really prefer using the natural light I have. So I tend to adapt my outdoor techniques indoor. If I don’t have enough light, then I will bring with me my lighting kit. But for those who follow my work, they’ll know I’m addicted to what you can do with natural light and bouncing that around, be it using reflectors or reflective surfaces.”

School of lighting setups

You better pay attention to these lighting tips, or Cecilie might give you a detention.

A lighting diagram for you to study

Cecilia Harris takes us to an old class room to teach us about lighting setups.

– “Shot indoor at the Ragged School Museum that provides a lot of natural light coming in through windows and even holes in the ceiling. This image was shot for my “Boys by Girls” project (www.boysbygirls.co.uk ) for the first coffee table book for this project.
For this image in particular I really utilised the holes in the ceiling which were letting in so much natural light. This really makes this location so amazing to work with. A simple reflector added to filling in any shadows on the model’s face.”

Natural light photography using a window and a reflector

Natural light FTW!

Lighting diagram of the window and the reflector

Cecilie Harris gives us the details for this lighting setup:

– Shot indoor at the Ragged School Museum that provides a lot of natural light coming in through windows and even holes in the ceiling. This image was shot for my “Boys by Girls” project (www.boysbygirls.co.uk) for the first coffee table book for this project.