27. Dramatic Portraits

In this series of portrait photography classes Karl demonstrates a number of creative lighting setups using just two lights.

Using two different modifiers as his key light, Karl demonstrates how they can be combined with a simple accessory to achieve this punchy, dramatic fashion-style image. He also reviews the results of each, providing clear comparisons of the various modifiers.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Studio Lighting: How to set up multiple studio lights
  • Two light setup for fashion photography
  • How to use a beauty dish
  • Lighting modifiers and their effects
  • Beauty Dish vs Beauty Box

For more in-depth tutorials on how to use a beauty dish, make sure to watch our live show “Mastering the Beauty Dish” and read our blog post “Lighting Modifiers: The Beauty Dish“.

NOTE: This course is available with English subtitles

Comments

  1. HI KARL,
    HOW DO YOU ADJUST F STOP THAT MEANS RATIO BETWEEN THE MAIN LIGHT AND BACKGROUND LIGHT WITHOUT USING A LIGHT METER FOR FASTER TUNNING UP THE SHOOT.
    THANKS IN ADVANCE.
    SASTRIPRASAD

    1. Hi Sastri, please watch chapter 1 and 6 of Light Source in the portrait section for a full and complete answer to this.

  2. Great info as always. The beauty dish seems to produce more pronounced shadows under the eyes. Do you lighten this area in post? The beauty box doesn’t seem to make the shadows quite as noticeable.

    1. Hi Martin, yes if necessary but a lot of it will be to do with the exact angle of the light, distance and of course the model. I find the 70cm beauty dish to be more sparkly and 3dimensional but my preferred modifier is the para 133 but as we limited ourselves to the more inexpensive modifiers for this course I didn’t use it in this course. You can see the 133 para in action in other modules.

  3. Thank you! This is easily the best photography education for the money and I consider myself a fairly experienced shooter. Lots of inspiration as well as information here.
    Cheers!

  4. Hello again Karl. Great video, as always. I was wondering, besides the differences the beauty dish vs. the beauty box obvious does in the overall lighthing how does this affect the catchlight that your clients request. Have you ever been in a situation when among others you were required a specific catchlight?

    1. Hi Bogdan, no although sometimes if a catchlight is unsightly (for example some people don’t like the catchlights from the Para 222) then we can retouch the eyes to create a new catchlight. This is commonly undertaken in advertising images but catchlights from the Beauty box or a beauty dish are easy to transform into a solid circle in photoshop.

  5. Hi Karl, these tutorials are fantastic resources as well as inspiration.

    I have a question regards creating dramatic or side lighting on female models with mature or non smooth skin – Using double diffused large softbox close in and with a reflector or light below this to reduce some shadowing, yet try to retain some drama, this still means I find myself doing rather a lot of retouching as the models unhappy with seeing all the imperfections.
    If there a technique you use to be able to get dramatic lighting for such skin types and yet minimise texture or is it a case of drama lighting leads to retouch work or have to avoid altogether and go for soft lighting only on such skin types?

    1. Hi John, I’m afraid the physics of light says NO. Essentially when you are describing ‘drama’ I think you are leaning towards higher contrast and more dramatic shadows but in doing so this reveals texture (wrinkles) The only way to avoid texture is by using extremely large soft lighting very close to the model, or use directional light from directly behind you such as a large Para 222 (expensive).

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