LIGHTING A FINE ART BOUDOIR SCENE
The first scene of any photo shoot is always the most challenging because it’s understanding what the goals and challenges are, and discovering what works. In this article, I will take you through the first scene of our premium tutorial, “Fine Art Boudoir | The Earthen Bathtub,” where I’ll give you some tips and show you how we set up the lighting.
TIP 1: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, START YOUR SET UP WITH ONE LIGHT
Whenever I arrive at a scene for a shoot, the first thing I look for is the main light. It’s important to always start with one light, and add whatever additional lights or modifications necessary.
TIP 2: THE LIGHT THAT IS GOING TO DEFINE YOUR SCENE IS WHERE YOU START
Looking at the picture above, the first thing I concluded was that the light coming in from the window was going to be the light that defined the scene. The ambient light coming in from the window is the light that will dictate the overall look of the images.
In order to mimic sunlight, I placed a flash outside the window and angled it in a way so that the flash would come into the window as if it were natural sunlight.
I want to mention here that this is why we teach Lighting 101. Lighting 101 is light-shaping via on-camera flash, but the techniques and tips used in Lighting 101 can be used across any type of scene and photo shoot. In Lighting 101, we discuss the importance of balancing ambient light and flash light. If an image doesn’t look very good, it’s usually because the balance between the ambient and flash is off.
After firing test shot, I saw that the ambient light is too bright, so I dialed down the settings to 1/200 sec, at f/2, ISO 100, in order to get the image above. Now we’re getting closer.
After setting off the smoke alarm with the fog machine, and dialing in my camera settings for the ambient light, I ran into some problems because the size of the room restricted where I could place the off-camera flash needed to light my model. I placed a small white card up against the wall and angled a flash with a grid on it (the grid prevents light from spilling), so that I could have a light coming off the wall, brightening up the model’s face.
TIP 3.: GET THE WHITE BALANCE RIGHT IN CAMERA
Lastly, I set my white balance in camera so that I could get my image to resemble the final product envisioned. Although we could’ve adjusted the white balance in post, it’s important to do as much as we can in camera so that it saves time editing and also allows us to see what else we might need to adjust.
For scene number one, we have a flash outside that’s firing straight through the window, a flash inside that’s bouncing off a white card, and a fog machine to create some light rays. I hope you enjoyed this article and video. If you’re interested in learning more, please check out our premium tutorial: Fine Art Boudoir | The Earthen Bathtub.