Photography Studio and Lighting Forum

Hosted by fabulous Florida-based professional fashion photographer, Asylum Steve, this forum is for discussing studio photography and anything related to lighting.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    first attempt at using natural lighting for portrait shoot

    hey there....
    I'm setting up my first ever portrait shoot and am in some desperate need of assistance as I only have a week before the shoot. I have a good idea of what i want to achieve but have very little technical knowledge on the best way to set up lighting to get the desired results. I have a setup in mind but have no idea about what complications or potential problems I could be walking myself into.

    Any guidance in the right direction would be very highly appreciated.

    I am trying to convey a strong sense of contrast by showing a very depressed female holding happy and fun objects (contrast in theme not in lighting). She will be dressed in black tight clothing with blonde hair but still have alot of skin showing. I'm planning to use a pink background and natural indoor lighting from two large windows. I really want to convey soft delicate lighting to show her vulnerability and feminine side.

    I am planning to shoot mainly torso and head shots but possibly a few full body shots as well.

    There are two large windows to the south (using as a key) and east (using as a fill) with venetian blinds that are going to allow me to have control over the strength of the outside light. I am planning to use white shower curtains over the windows to diffuse the lighting.

    The floors are wooden and the roof and walls are all white.

    I'm using an f/2.4 70mm lens on a 1.5x 10megapixel dslr stopped down to f/4 and shooting in raw at iso 400. I've got the camera set to Av mode and am getting a 1/30th of a second reading from the available light. I have shake reduction turned on so think i can get away with shooting hand held as this is much more preferable then a tripod.

    here is a drawing of how I'm planning to setup the lighting...

    and here is a picture of the room...

    Does this sound like it will work?
    what problems might I have?
    What could I do differently to give a better result?

  2. #2
    MJS is offline
    Digital Video Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Miami, FL

    Re: first attempt at using natural lighting for portrait shoot

    Have you got a handheld meter? If you don't, I'd spotmeter the highlighted area and close down one stop, make sure you check your histogram to nail the exposure. A tripod for you older subjects who can sit still is also a necessity. I wouldn't shoot below 1/60 for movement reasons. Look into a 50mm/1.8 or 1.4. I think you;ll be very happy with them for natural light portraits. Just look at the amazing stuff that Adina, Alison, Old Timer and the rest of the crew have posted in the 50mm/1.8 threads in viewfinder. also look into getting a big piece of foamcore to use as a reflector, I think you'll be happy with the results when you play around with it before a paying shoot.

    Good luck.
    Nikon Samurai #8
    Avid Editor
    Sony Shogun

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