Below is the first image I have ever shot in a photographic studio, yes! quite a moment in my emergent career as a professional photographer. The image is pretty good for a beginner I think.
I think that this type of “split” lighting is definitely more suited to a subject with a straight face, the light creates a mood that is serious in my opinion.
I positioned onto a lightstand a Bowens studio flash head with a snoot attached to it. The snoot controls the light source into one direction and stops light spilling where you do not want it to go, it concentrates the light into one spot. The light was positioned head height at a 90 degree angle to the subject.
I then took a light reading of the subject, first the shadow area and then the highlighted cheek with a light meter my camera and the light meter were both set to 1/125th of a second and ISO 100. I think the meter reading said 16 aperture in the highlighted area and about 2.8 in the shadow. So then I set my camera aperture to f8, this is somewhere in the middle or the two aperture readings of the light meter.
I framed the subject and took the photograph and here it is below. To say I’m pleased with the result is a little bit of an understatement. I Think the detail in the image is awesome (probably something to do with the low ISO and the studio lighting, haha.), but yes very happy with the result.
Here below is an image I photographed (although the course leader set up the lighting) of a lad from outside of our class, but he was brought in for his aesthetic facial qualities. It is split lighting again.Below is an image of the first subject again but this time I was using a butterfly lighting setup. Basically using the same light and light modifier (snoot), I this time set the light directly in front and towards the subject but at a 45 degree angle facing downwards. This results in a butterfly shaped shadow under the subjects nose, this is the hallmark of butterfly lighting. The light creates an appealing type of light shaping and emphasizes the structure of the face. This type of lighting is usually reserved for women, one reason being that the butterfly shaped shadow would look quite odd on a bearded man with a moustache for instance. It was difficult to frame the image in the viewfinder because the stand for the light was getting in the way. Perhaps in future it would be better to use a ceiling mounted light in the studio to give me more room to work. This lighting is a style of glamour lighting as it illuminates the whole face; maybe something like this lighting could, and probably has been used on the cover of vogue magazine.
Below is my first attempt to replicate the Rembrandt style of lighting. Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) was Dutch painter and engraver and painted a lot of portraits using candle-light thus casting shadows in the style of lighting we call today Rembrandt. It has a tell-tale sign that it is a Rembrandt style by the small triangle of light under one eye, some people say it should be not wider than the eye socket or longer than the nose. In my opinion if it looks good, then it is good. Usually the dark side of the face is the side turned away from the camera, but you can still have the Rembrandt style of lighting head on. This image is not my favourite one of the Rembrandt style in this studio session; personally I think the lighting needs more contrast, but it was my first attempt. For this style of lighting I positioned the light at 45 degrees from the subject and around eye level and this time attached a softbox. The softbox is a box or frame covered with light diffusing material; used over the flash head to create a soft light, this soft light is more scattered wider than the snoot aswell. I think one reason why I did not particularly like the effort below is that it looks a bit like a school photo or document photo and does not have enough artistic quality for me. Writing this blog I am realising more about myself and realise I do like contrasty shadows in portraits.
Below is another attempt at Rembrandt lighting that I found a lot more pleasing, it is a lot more contrasty and this is more artistic in my opinion and probably makes the viewer more interested and will look for longer.
All images were shot with a Nikon D7200 with Nikkor DX 85mm and 35mm 1.8G lenses.
Only cropping and clarity were adjusted in Photoshop/Lightroom.