Angles and Photographic Lighting

This weekend I had a great shoot with two young models. The shoot was conducted in a local Café and last one hour. During this time the place was full with paying customers. When I setup the shoot the only thing the owner said was no way must paying customers be disturbed. So I had to ask myself how the hell I’m I going to keep that from happening. I mean how do you not disturb people when you’re setting up a ton of lighting gear, stand, and reflectors. I know what you’re saying why not uses speed lights; I guess I’m just too old school for that. With this Lighting Tip and a slight change of camera position I’ll show you how to get two looks without using much space or having to move your lights around. The looks I’ll be going for is one moody the other a bit more light and airy.  The lighting gear used was two Hensel 500ws heads, large softbox, and sliver reflector.  First let’s take a look at the layout of the space that I had to work within.

The room was tight but I had arranged to uses the area in yellow.  If you’re standing at the bar facing the models, to the right are the windows and door. To the left is the seating area any areas outside of the yellow were off limts. In front of the models is the bar area and on this night it was staffed fully. We started the shoot at 17:00 and by this time it was dark outside.  No bright sunlight coming into the windows to help light the subjects.  The lack of sunlight I would use to my advantage for the first shot which would be the moody one.

To shoot the first image I’ll place a large soft box to the right of the model and slightly behind them and angle it towards the white wall.  Fill light will be provided by the white wall behind the models.  To keep a darker tone about the image I’ll drop the camera to a lower position to get the dark chair into the foreground.  I’ll also move a bit to the models left so that I get some of the darken window into the frame. 


For the lighter image I’ll move the camera a bit more to the models right so that I get more of the white wall into the frame, and raises the camera so I have no chairs in the foreground.  Next I place a sliver reflector about 40cm in front of the female model. I’ll turn on the second light and direct it  the reflector.   

 As you can see sometimes to get a good shot all you need to do is think about the angles. Full lighting diagram is below.  



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