It's time to talk about how you can make the light and color work for you at your own home studio. And I'm gonna show you how I made this little set with mix of heroic and erotic approach. But first, some EXIF data: here I used my Nikon D7000 with Sigma 50mm f/1.4 (stopped down to f/2), shutter speed of 1/100 and ISO 125. Why?
First of all, 50mm focal length lens on a cropped-sensor body is a wise choice if you're not in a sports stadium but in a regular sized room. When framing from overhead to knees or wider it keeps the distortion of your model 's appearance pretty low, at the same time letting you stay close enough to feel like you actually taking part in something. The shutter speed of 1/100 at f/2 allows you to expose both strobes and constant light and maintaining the depth of field shallow enough to blur the backdrop a bit. And the ISO 125, well, it's just an increment from ISO 100 that I had to make in order to have a slightly brighter image without touching aperture once again What do we need?
Besides a camera with a hot shoe and a proper model, I used:
- 1 studio light
- 1 90x60 cm softbox
- 2 light stands
- 1 radio transmitter and 2 receivers
- 1 huge translucent white reflector as a backdrop
Our color is connected with our light from the beginning. Here the key light source is a preview lamp of a studio head on a stand, turned on full power. This constant light with lots of orange tones in it (almost like a regular incandescent lamp) coming through the big softbox will be "warming" the model's face and body both in terms of color temperature and just literally. But the other two light sources are speedlights, which are only engaged when we push the button. One is standing beside the backdrop and flashes through the custom modifier, providing bright diagonal lines. And one is simply hanging over the top pointing towards the camera as a hair light and a flare combined. Their color is definitely bluer, closer to daylight, and since the white balance in camera is set to 3000K, providing us with mid blue tone over the whole image, including the skin, everything that is hit by strobes will seem simply very blue.Small tricks
- The "custom modifier" is somewhat like a metal casserole with wholes in its bottom, which I believe was made to hold cutlery. Now with proper hands and a bit of tape this can be connected to our flash. A flash mount for stands will be of a use, but that's not even necessary. The thing is, because the light travels in a certain way, and our off camera flash has a rectangular shape, we can position the holes in a way that will give us not the spots of light but the long continues lines as shown on the picture.
- When placed in front of the lens, a transparent plastic one-time knife can create additional diffusion. Here it looks like a foundation of some kind of smoke in the lower left corner. Some water sprayed over it can help achieving even more dramatic effects. This is just a question of go and try.
Really nothing special here! I just removed the unnecessary details, cleaned up some stray hair, dodged & burned the skin here and there and used several adjustment layers with masks, mostly curves and local brightness/contrast.That's it
So here we are. Hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes talk. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Have a good time!