Steven Brokaw Photography

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Photoshoot with Emily Gregory - Reflected Fill Light

Emily Gregory in Black & White

Emily Gregory in Black & White

I used a fill light setup during a recent photoshoot with model Emily Gregory.  I wanted a longer key light with a fill light from reflected light.  Instead of using a reflector I used a large piece of white foam core propped against a wooden V-flat we have in the studio.

The goal of the lighting was to highlight one side of my model in a "split lighting" style, but partially fill the other side.  Initially I thought about using a gridded reflector, or a soft box, but instead I simply decided to use diffused reflected light.  Because I wanted to highlight most of Emily's body I used the large piece of foam core and an Elinchrom 20x51" Rotalux soft box mounted on an Elinchrom D-Lite 4.  I wanted to separate my model cleanly from my background and minimize shadowing so I mounted an Elinchrom 8.25" reflector with a 30 degree grid onto an Elinchrom Style 1200RX studio strobe.  This was mounted high on my Manfrotto super boom and aimed behind my model onto the background.  Because of the shape of the reflector & the location I got a nice halo of light effect around Emily.  The background for this shoot was Savage's Seamless Fashion Grey

Here's the setup.  Note, I didn't use the beauty dish on this set, so not really sure why I didn't move it out of the way for this shot.  Oh well.

I had Emily stand between the key light and the reflector.  For most of the shoot I had her partially face the key light.  The more she turned to the key light the more open her face became with less shadowing.  Turn to the bounce board and her face went into partial shadow.  Straight on and she had defined shadowing on her face camera left.  I just had her move around.

For this set I started using the tripod, but quickly took my camera off.  I really never did get the hang of using a tripod in studio.  I used my Nikon D600 with an AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens.  I don't use this lens much in studio, but wanted the flexibility to go full body if needed and then switch to portrait crop.  I could have used my trusty AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and just moved back & forth, but for this look I just planted myself on the apple box.    As always I started my camera at aperture f/9, ISO 160 and 1/160 speed.  I metered my lights to this setting, and metered the background light to f/11.  I adjusted as I went to get the right look.

So there you have it.  Pretty simple lighting setup that generated the look I was going for.

Emily facing straight to me, but her face turned ever so slightly to the key light.  She got some light reflected onto the her face camera left from her hand.

Emily facing straight to me, but her face turned ever so slightly to the key light.  She got some light reflected onto the her face camera left from her hand.

Emily facing the key light and then having her face turned to the camera.  Emily's hair blocked some of the reflected light.

Emily facing the key light and then having her face turned to the camera.  Emily's hair blocked some of the reflected light.


LA Street Photography Workshop with Valerie Jardin

I'm Not Always In A Studio

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