26. Stunning two light beauty set

After the previous 10 chapters demonstrating single light setups, Karl moves on to a number of two light setups and what you can achieve with basic studio equipment.

In this portrait photography class he uses a similar setup to that in Chapter 20. But for this studio lighting setup he goes a step further, adding in an additional light to further enhance the image, resulting in a simple but effective lighting setup.

Watch as Karl walks you through his shooting process, starting with a simple background light before moving on to his key light and its positioning and power settings. Despite the apparent simplicity of this lighting setup, Karl also explains why the positioning of the photographer, model and both lights is crucial.

In this portrait photography class we cover the following:

  • Studio Lighting: How to set up multiple studio lights
  • Two light setup for beauty photography
  • Basic modifiers for studio lighting
  • How to control light in a small studio
  • Portrait photography tips

NOTE: This course is available with English subtitles

Comments

  1. In commercial shoots do you work with model in similar way as shown in video or do you set it up with an assistant prior the model arrives?

    1. Hi, no I work in this way, you are paying the model so you take as long as you want to get the shot set right. It’s good practise to let the model know what you are doing and why and that you are just testing etc. If it was a client business portrait then I would do or the testing on an assistant.

    1. Hi Mohan, I know that the camera records the colours accurately so I don’t need to worry too much about the colour at the capture stage. I would only need to worry about it at the post processing or retouching stage when I wanted to change something. When I do my post process work I then move to my office where I use an Eizo color calibrated monitor.

  2. I do not have a tri-reflector as in the lesson. Can 2 smaller reflectors in an angle or a bigger one somewhat curved do an approx similar job?

    1. Yes but I definitely recommend investing in a tri-reflector if you can as they are more versatile for lighting under the chin and the sides of the face at various levels of brightness as each panel can be controlled independently.

      1. Thank you, Karl. Now I really hope Santa Claus see this. Because I have just invested in a Canon 5Ds (50Mp) and still have no ordinary studio. 🙂

  3. Hi Karl,

    At 6:19 you added a second light octabox on the model. Can we not use the Grids/ Hood to prevent light spilling from the Octabox to the background ?

    1. Hi Lightman, yes you can but grids on softboxes will increase contrast on your subject and make them less ‘soft’ so I avoid using them unless I have to.

  4. Hi Karl,

    do you retouch catchlights in the eyes?
    In this case: The catchlights of the tri-reflector are a bit “funky” for my personal taste.

    1. If you have a white background and your main lights and model are close to it then I’m afraid it will look an unpleasant dirty grey/white. If you are a long way from the white background (big studio/big background) then it will look mid grey and you can light a patch of it for a glow. Black backgrounds are obviously good if you want black and they can saturate coloured gels very well but in a defined area where the light hits. My recommendation is a mid to dark grey background in a smaller studio space.

  5. It’s fantastic watching you build your lighting. I learn so much watching you do, what to you is, everyday tasks. I have never worked with professional models, but are Debora’s skills, level of professionalism and the ability to portray almost a different person on each set the norm? I find it amazing what she can convey with her stance, facial expressions and hand movements.

    1. Hi Mark, Deborah is a good model and one who worked very hard during her week with us. But I would expect most professional models that cost a reasonable fee or from an agency to be able to accommodate a variety of poses and nuances. Working with professional models does make a huge difference on commercial shoots for obvious reasons as productivity is much higher.

  6. Karl I saw on the video screen that you were shooting at 5.6 at 160 of a second, can you tell us what was the difference between the background light and the main front light on that shoot, in terms of exposure ??

  7. Great lesson Karl, i do some times get strange greeny/blue lines on the grey background sometimes any tips on how to reduce this?

    1. Hi Mark, are you seeing these lines from your lights or only in the photo? Is it banding in the graduation in the file or actually on the background? It sounds very odd.

  8. Great tutorial Karl, very simple yet very effective, nice way to begin and learn the art of learning how to control the light.

  9. Hi karl:
    I am experiencing banding problems in the gradient zone of the background, similar to Mark Glancy.
    I use a nikon d810 and bowens strobes.
    The problem gets worse when I export to jpg (photoshop does a better job here than Lightroom, but not perfect).
    Could you help me please?
    Best regards

    1. Hi Javier, some important tips. First ensure your light graduation is smooth. Second export your files as 16bit tiffs (expect banding in 8bit jpegs). Thirdly use a calibrated monitor, some of the banding you see may not even be there it may be your monitor. Finally if banding still exists then follow the very important tip in the Photoshop for Photographers course in the ‘Post Production’ section. All the best Karl.

  10. Hi Karl,

    Great example of soft lighting. It’s also nice to have Deborah on set; gives me a good idea of how a professional, experienced model works during a shoot.

  11. Hi Karl , love all your videos and learned tones from them. I remember in one of the previous videos (and I think was live show for business portraits), you explained that key light should be closer rather then further a way from the subjects face. Taking that in consideration just wondering should key light be closer to the model ? Your image came out fantastic even with light further a way but just trying to understand this whole light – model distance relation.

    1. Hi Iva, this all depends of the model, the contrast level you wish to acheive, the hardness of the light and the retouching you are happy to do. No two shoots are the same or need to be the same as you will discover more in the fashion sections. The live show on business portraiture taught you the basic physics for effective lighting, those were the rules but we are free to break them!

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