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Monday, February 2, 2015

Aveda Spring Collection, with Lighting Diagram

One of the best ways to tune-up or hone a skill is to practice by copying. Reproduction in it's very essence can be quite tricky in any medium. Some may say that to create beauty is actually quite simple, but any master must be able to reproduce it with the same efficiency. Artists should have a plethora of skills behind their vision and style. Any painter will tell you the unfortunate truth - mastery by the mundane. For instance, to better understand portraiture in painting or sketching, it is best to start with still life. There are certain appreciations one will grasp. For painters, it is imperative to disconnect the brain from what it thinks it sees, into what is actually there; it is important to see the relation of negative space to positive space, rather than to simply draw the resemblance of a shoe, or flower etc... if the painter wants any sense of realism. 

To freshen up my skills in studio lighting, I often tear out pictures in magazines or search for interesting online publications. I study the picture. Where are the highlights? How hard is the fall off? What do the catch lights look like? As I study, I begin to understand how large the light sources are, how close to the subject they are, approximately how many lights there are, and even what shape the light modifiers are. This study often allows me to follow the similar teachings I had when I studied shadows rather than light in my painting and drawing classes. 


These exercises keep me fresh and excited to try new things.

And that's exactly what we did. Megan Janigan was our makeup artist, with Lisa and Erin being our lovely models 

These were our final images:






















To get here though, we wanted to reproduce something similar in fashion to Aveda's Spring Collection.



The key elements to these shots were soft. Really soft. Softer than I ever really shoot.
I knew I needed a very large light source, not too close to the subject. I took the shot with the blonde hair as my main inspiration. I eventually ended up with a lighting set up that I've demonstrated in this diagram for you:



In closing, I hope you can enjoy looking through photographs with the attempt to recreate the look. I find it helps me to reevaluate my tried and true techniques, and gives me a fresh perspective. Perhaps you would like to try out my lighting set up here.
My general thoughts on studio lighting is that less is more. Start with two, and add modifiers before you start adding more lights. Your math skills will thank me. 

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