Glamour Lighting SetupsSubmitted by Michael on Wed, 2011-11-30 20:12

Triangle: simple lighting technique, kickass punchy light

Here’s a pretty simplistic approach for an interesting studio lighting. In a way it is my answer to all those cousins, who told me they are not able to recreate the lighting, which we used for in the lighting sandwich photo shoot. My approach for today’s video was to try out what happens if you leave away all the stuff you might not have to your disposal. What happens if you got just 3 bare speedlights? No lightmodifiers or anything? It’s a very simple lighting technique. Well, see yourself:



Check the lighting setup:


Model: Emily Wei

I wish you good light!


Hard to get my thick German accent? Here's the transcript!

Hey fellow photographer how is it going? I’m Michael Zelbel. The first thing I have to tell you today is a warning. I have got to warn you: This video - it might piss you off. I am here with Cousin Emily. What we will try to do is to rip away your excuses for not doing the one or the other photo shoot.


The reason why we came up with this is that a while ago, I showed you a video with cousin Sasha where we took photos of her in a pretty big studio. We over exposed the background with a bunch of umbrellas and speed lights and under exposed the model. The people seemed to like this photos but they keep telling me excuses why they don’t do that sort of photo shoots themselves. I mean I am doing these videos so that you can recreate these photo shoots and that you do it but it seems like my fellow photographers, they are sticking their head into the sand. They give me lame excuses like


• I don’t have such a model,
• I don’t have so many umbrellas like you need for that,
• over here we don’t have such a big studio like you had or
• I just don’t know any TV actress with sixpack abs who can jump like James Bond. Or
• I think that stuff is working in a black and white only, and you know I am more into color.


I mean cousins all of that is nothing more than BS! What you need to do is take what you have to your disposal and organize your next photo shoot, let us say for next Saturday - that is all it takes.


What we will try in this video is we want to see what happens if we make a really, really, really stripped down version of photo shoot.


So what we did is we used our tiny studio. We have a tiny 9 feet, a white paper backdrop. Actually we simply could have used a white wall, a white wall but we used a backdrop. We have set up three speed lights without any light modifies, without umbrellas, just bare speed lights. I simply asked my wife to model. I will not convert the stuff into black and white, I just leave it in color and see what the outcome is. I won’t ask her to jump like James Bond, no! I will ask her to stand around, you know as if she would be bored to tears – just stand around boring . Let’s see what the outcome is. I mean are the photos bad or are they bad ass? I mean I leave it up to you to decide but if you think they are cool, keep on watching because I will quickly explain the lighting set up.


So we have this white backdrop and the model is standing in the middle. We have got the three speed lights around the model. There are 2 speed lights in the back, one in the front there. They are arranged as a sort of triangle. The two back speed lights are in group B, B like “back“ and the front speed light, it is A. When we have a look at the flash settings it is on TTL case and the ratio A to B is 1 to 8 which means pretty much all the light is coming from the background. 8 parts of the lights from the background and only one part of the light from the front. So very little exposure from the front and I want you to notice that the background speed lights are zoomed back to 14 millimeters. I pulled out this diffuser wide angle of flap so that is the light of those speed lights just scatters everywhere; it goes into the background and it goes into the back of the model, it is just everywhere but it doesn’t hit the model too hard or something.


The camera settings are pretty straight forward. It is 200/s, f11. I dialed up the ISO to ISO400 just to make the speed lights not working too hard.


So take this set up and if there is anything, anything that you cannot borrow by simply asking your facebook buddy or someone, then replace it with something else. Or you know go without it. But in any case, schedule your next photo shoot and try to make some bad ass photos. Yeah I mean if I look at that photo, I would say, stretch it, Cousin! Yes, try to push the envelope, what are you waiting for?


Let me know if that resonates with you. Let me know if you need this little kick, please put a comment under this video and please come back next Thursday for the next video and until then I wish you a lot of fun with your photo shoots and I wish you good light.

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