I’m always pulling things apart – it’s the Engineer in me I think. I’m no different when it comes to photography as I try to understand how an image has been taken or created both in camera and in processing.
I do try to continuously learn more about my hobby and I’m always keen to get in a studio to create even more photos but how I set-up my lights is a constant challenge. I think often about this and pull images apart or visit YouTube to learn techniques and recently I have developed / learned / replicated a few new-to-me set-ups. One of these is now a firm favourite and that is a lovely soft side-lit approach that I have admired for a while and learned it from it’s master over in Belfast.
The basis of the set-up is to provide really soft, flattering light on the subject using as large a soft-box as is available. The main light is set to cast light across the front of the subject where a lot of the light actually comes from the edges of the soft-box rather than the centre of it – this is often referred to as ‘feathering’. A reflector on the opposite side helps to fill in the shadows without cancelling them out. The camera is then set at 90 degrees to the light source and typically shoots through the light.
It is important in this technique that the light is directed across the subject and not at it.
The above image has the main light source to the right.