39. Contoured beauty lighting

This unique lighting setup requires patience and precise control, but together Karl and Urs Recher show you exactly how to achieve the stunning, contoured beauty image below.

As the pair continue to demonstrate a number of creative three light setups for portrait photography, Urs explains why symmetry is a key element to this setup. Using just two small modifiers and a background light, this setup is well suited to a small studio space.

In this portrait photography class we cover the following:

  • Studio Lighting: How to set up multiple studio lights
  • Three light setup for portrait photography
  • How to prevent lens flare in studio photography
  • How to use reflectors for portrait photography
  • Working with reflectors and flags
  • Photographing in a small studio

NOTE: This course is available with English subtitles

Comments

  1. What OTHER modifier do you think I can use instead of these two softboxes? I don’t have them.
    Closest I have is two Strip boxes, Profoto 1×3 size… but they are 1×3 so not as wide as these softboxes… Maybe use them horizontally ?

    1. Hi Babak, using them horizontally would not work, please watch chapter 1 to understand why. The other option would be to put your two softboxes side by side. My concern though is that at this stage based on your question you haven’t fully understood some of the fundamental principles of studio lighting that are very important and covered in chapters 1 to 15.

  2. hi your using always a passe-partout ( black with oening) are you using always the sme ? if yes what are the sizes of it ( just about)

    1. Hi Harm, no not always only if there is very strong backlighting coming into the camera (and this will also depend on the focal length) I’d guess the size of the hole is about 20-25cm but you must make it the same format (shape) as your camera format/sensor.

  3. Hi Karl!
    Since I joined your site this week, I am loving life. You have inspired me and believe that I can produce decent, solid images with your guidance.
    I have two questions.
    1) Is it possible to use the 30×120 softboxes rather than the 35×60 softboxes in this tutorial?
    2) Also, is there a scientific equation to determine the size of the hole in your mask? I don’t think you mentioned how to figure this part out. I know I saw you and Urs do this in another tutorial.
    I have a full frame Sony A7III. I hope that didn’t upset you.
    Thx again and I am looking forward to practicing your techniques!

    1. Hi William, yes I believe those softboxes will work. As for the size of the mask you simply work out the ratio of your camera format (the sensor size) so for example if your sensor is 36mm x 24mm then you could say multiply each dimension by say 7 and you would end up with a size of 252mm x 168mm and then you cut your hole to that size. But it’s very important to know the exact size of your sensor to begin with of course.

  4. Maybe I missed something in the other tutorials but were all the background strobes just using the modelling lamp light or wire they fired to get the exposure? Some of the other 2 & 3 light videos had quite a bright modelling lamp the background so wasn’t sure the modelling lamp provided the light or the strobe was fired.

    1. Hi Chris, if we have the lamp switched on then we will always be using the flash at the time of exposure. We never use the modelling lamps mixed with flash as the colour is very different.

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