This lighting setup is something I have been thinking about a lot, but never gotten to try it for real. I really like the quality of light when it comes to reflected light you can find in the shadows outside near building. The sun, reflecting down light via big windows, can be very nice. And I would love to be able to recreate that light in the studio any time of the year.
But it was not that simple, and I am not even close to getting it right. Yet.
I wrote a long blog post on my Swedish blog, but I don’t have the energy to translate all the steps that I tried to get things right. If you want, you can see more photos and maybe understand some of it (via some translator, or just look at the pictures). Here it is: My Swedish blog post on indirect lighting.
To keep it a lot shorter (than the Swedish blog post), I started with a light from behind, a Profoto D1 250 Air with a Magnum reflector. Pointing it at a very large Chimera reflector frame with silver fabric, I had the idea that this would be enough to get a lot of light reflected back into the face of my model.
But I liked the rim light from behind, and kept that light on (it would maybe have been smarter to turn that off and continue to try to get it right with just one light, but no). Next time I will.
Instead I added a second light, and placed it very near the large reflector so I could easily see how the effect would be (also avoiding the problems with the light hitting my model’s hair and sides, being a lot stronger than the reflected light).
I put the light low, and bounced it on the reflector so the light would come from above, almost. Using a Zoom reflector, I could adjust the light beam to get the effect I wanted. The only restrictions were that I could not have it at a distance, but had to make do with it being quite near the model.
My goal was to learn a way to use indirect light in an easy way, but I didn’t really achieve that, but I learned a lot trying to. Maybe the best way would be to use an even harder light, a Fresnel or something like that?
But I like the light I got, it has soft transitions from light to dark but with a quick falloff in some way. And experimenting with ideas like this is something I a lot less than I should, it is a very learning experience in many ways. And frustrating.
And then I have to keep shooting with my new Nikon D800, even outside paid assignments, just to learn it better. It is a lot like my older D700, but also different in many ways. Just coping with the smaller margins for error in focus when you check an image in 100% is hard get over.
Hope this wasn’t to short and rushed, the post that is. If you have any questions, please let me know. Or suggestions on how to make it better.