If you’ve been following my posts about my large “window” light set you’ll already have an idea of the lighting setup and how the window is created. In the second part I demonstrated how to add in a third light to illuminate our wonderful models as we move them around the bed and using the window light more as a prop.
Moving on from this simple lighting setup I’m now going to demonstrate that by adding in some foreground paraphernalia we can once again change and enhance this studio setup.
For the eagled eyed amongst you, yes I have changed the light source that I’m using to light the model. I’ve replaced the long strip soft box in favour of an octagonal soft box with a grid. The reason is threefold 1) the octobox will gives me a little bit of a wider light source meaning I don’t have to quite so accurate with my light placement. 2) The grid will help ensure I don’t get flare coming into my lens as a lot of the time I’ll be shooting almost directly towards it, and 3) I don’t have a grid for my long strip soft box 🙂
So with everything very similar to the previous post it’s now time to add in some foreground stuff. Firstly, I like to hang some sheer fabric between model and lens. In this case it’s the very same fabric that I use in the window setup. Slightly transparent and almost colourless…keeps things uncomplicated. The placement of this fabric is crucial. Include too much of it in your shot and it just looks odd and will overwhelm the subject, too little and it may be difficult to work out what it is in the picture. Get it right and it will look splendid. It helps add depth to the shot and gives the images much more of a “room” setting and adds a voyeuristic edge to the pictures. I like to place it so that it just skims the model’s back in these kneeling poses. It has other advantages too. If the subject has ill-fitting lingerie and is cutting in at the waist or on the back, this foreground distraction can obscure the offending underwear nicely and hide one or two other lumps and bumps to boot!
Shooting position is of course of paramount importance here. I want to throw the fabric out of focus but still retain its identity. For these full length kneeling shots I like to use the 85mm lens at around f5.6. Remember, depth of field is a result of lens length, aperture setting and distance from subject. The closer you are to the fabric, the further you can drift it out of focus. For the tighter portrait images I switch to my 105mm lens and move even closer to the fabric.
Everything else is pretty much the same as in my Window Works 2 post. The window light is still created with two strobes facing each other, set behind the blackout panels and then diffused through the voile fabric. The main light illuminating the model is still off to the left side of the set (albeit now with the octobox). As before, if I move the model away from the window I move this main light to match her pose to keep her nicely illuminated.
Next we move on to my favourite foreground prop…the bedhead. This prop helps me create some super erotic style images but still allows me to keep the images perfectly decent…well almost!
Firstly let me tell you that this is not an expensive piece of photography equipment and if you use a bed in your shooting space for boudoir or glamour work then a bedhead is well worth the £’s of investment. Mine was £10 secondhand from the free ads in the local paper. Bargain. One more tip for you. Don’t secure it to the bed. You’ll be sorry. You’ll want the flexibility of moving it back and forth along the front of the bed giving you the maximum number of composition and shooting angles.