When doing bigger/wider lighting setups, the distances grow and ordinary soft boxes and such doesnt work since they become relatively small and creates harsh shadows. Then its great to use really BIG diffusors.
In this image we wrapped the whole exterior of the building in milky white plastic to get the huge windows like this. To get the correct depth of light from outside the window, the flash needs to be far away, thus demands alot of power. I think we used a twin head and two 2400Ws generators for the outside flash. Inside I had a strip light (without fabric) from the left shooting through a big diffusion screen. To the right there was a silver reflector that bounced back the light from a gridded flash. The reason why I bounced it was because I needed the extra depth of light one get when using long distances.
This image is a pure tribute to the classic crying-images by Jill Greenberg. This is really showing the crisp and contrasty light of the beloved Profoto Giant (the huge umbrella). From the back, I use two strip lights and a hair light on a boom stand to create a “kicker” all around her silhouette. One gridded light on the black background (turns blue when white balancing to get nice skin tones). Just below the model there is a squared silver reflector (I hate round ones!) to give the classic extra lower clam-shellish-spark to the eye to give some feeling of “wet eyes”… To eliminate all unwanted indirect lightning, I used big black book ends to really push the contrast by lowering the levels in the shadows.
Visit photographer David Bicho for more great inspiration.
If you are into glamour photography and have already tried the golden umbrella thing and similar lighting setups, you can find new inspiration from Magnus Svensson here. The keylight is a large octabox, and then you kick some light from the smaller softboxes at both sides in the background. This gives you a glamour lighting with a slight touch of beauty lighting!
Beauty lighting setups does not have to be difficult. You can easily get professional looking beauty shots using the clam shell lighting setup.
It’s called clam shell simply because you rig two softboxes as a giant gaping clam shell. It’s hard to see in the lighting diagram because of the levitated view. It would have been better illustrated if the lighting diagram was viewed from the side. Anyway, I think you get the idea.
A common setup is to build you’re clam shell with a larger upper softbox and then a lower smaller stripbox. The upper softbox is about one stop higher than the stripbox. Using two softboxes gives you good control of the light.
Simplified clam shell lighting setup
This specific clamshell lighting is simplified a bit. I used one big softbox from above and then a big horizontal silver reflector underneath. This gives you a little less control of the light, compared to using two softboxes, but the setup is about what you want anyway. The softbox will automatically give more light than the silver reflector. You can vary the distance between the soft box and the rector to control the light a bit. You can also try with a white reflector to find a lighting setup that you like.
This is a simple yet very useful lighting setup with only two hot shoe flashes (canon 580 ex speedlite), two homemade light modifiers and a dark glossy board.
I use one honeycomb snoot on the backdrop to get more control of the light. That flash i placed under the board. I use one homemade horizontal strip softbox as a main light. That flash is mounted on my camera.
For this session I wanted a dark exclusive look n feel that harmonizes with the delicious dark coffee tones, so I used a brown backdrop and a black glossy board to put the cups on. Even though the board is dark, it will still reflect plenty of light from the background
Low budget lighting setup
First time I used this lighting setup was on an assignment when I shot some food and drinks for a restaurant i Stockholm and needed to keep the budget down.
I have reused this lighting setup many times. These specific photos is from a session when I shot some stock images for istock. Check out that lightbox.
It’s difficult to give a good ratio between the two strobes, since I have used this lighting setup on many different colored backdrops. My advice is simply to try what’s best for your specific session.