Back in March I had the opportunity to work with Marie on an Art Shoot project. Whilst this was a limited opportunity in terms of time available to shoot, we managed to get quite a bit of diversity into the time we had available.
The idea behind the shoot was to develop an art based series of images that were to be both glamorous and dark.
Marie was keen to work with me on this series and had expressed an interest in creating some strong art based work.
I use a small studio, and whilst this is nice and intimate, it does tend to limit the working distances I can achieve with my cropped sensor. I find myself constrained to working at no more then two meters from my subject, and this brings some issues to the table itself. However, in this shoot, intimacy was the order of the day, and a very close working distance was to be expected as part of the process of achieving the desired results.
We started the shoot with a set of images of Marie in her black lingerie, lit by a single soft box to her right as our key light. This is a simple setup as I'm sure you know, but simple is good in my book.
What I was looking for here, was a soft but definite transition from the highlights to the shadow areas, picking out the subtle tones and curves of Marie's body.
This shot, shows how the light, when placed at about 45 degrees to Marie, and just a couple of inches above her eye line, not only picks out the tones in her body, but also gives a very pleasing effect known as 'Rembrandt' lighting.
The key in Rembrandt lighting is creating a triangle or diamond shape of light underneath the eye. With one side of the face lit well from the key light, the other side of the face is uses the interaction of shadows and light to create the sculptured definition on the face.
The shoot then moved on through a white lingerie set, to Marie wearing a mans white shirt. This is a bit obvious as a device admittedly, however, with a little bit of imagination and good lighting and a beautiful woman, can produce gorgeous and sexy images!
I find that the main problem here is in metering for the white of the shirt. A good rule of thumb with white clothing it not to light it directly, but to use a good reflector to push light onto the garment, you get much less throwback from it and should find it a lot easier to control the tone and texture of the clothing.
We then ended the shoot by loosing the shirt, and working a topless set with lighting provided by a beauty dish alone.
I like beauty dishes, I like them alot! and I often work like this, with simply the one light source. Beauty dishes are very versatile and can prodice lighting for a number of different looks.
Probably the most well known effect a beauty dish can produce is a strong, directional and specular light, with a more defined fall off into shadow than you might get with a soft box.
You can see more from the Marie shoot by visiting: