Anatomy of a Shoot II - Breaking up Hard light

Anatomy of a Shoot II - Breaking up Hard light

One of the things that makes light look "real" is that its not always perfect. Things get in the way, cast shadows, create an artificial falloff, contrast. The light can aid in sculpting your composition as you play with lights and darks, positive and negative space, etc..

In the image above... yeah its OK. I feel like it lacks something.


Ah, OK. This is a step in the right direction. Often times I add something random to the set, to alter the light "naturally". The problem is that the light out of a softbox is TOO soft. The shadows don't quite look "real" to me.


The above image is only a test shot, but it does represent tohe final lighting setup.

Our model, Patty, positions herself to the camera and adjustments are then made around her. The front panel and baffle of the softboxes were taken off so that we had hard light in an odd shaped reflector. You can see the more defined shapes that this creates in the shadows as opposed to softboxes. Regular old reflectors, on an unmodified light source will do the same thing. Give it a shot next time you are in the studio!


Above we can see the photographer, Syranno, positioning hinself over the model, and even holding the camera out, to ensure a straight-on shot.

Check out more blog posts like this one, or the studio's calendar and book your next shoot today!

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Post by Atomic Joshua

Photographer + Filmmaker turned studio owner.