The one light high key portrait lighting technique is perfect for fashion catalog photography. The lighting diagram below explains this simple lighting setup. A 400w/s monolight will work, but 600w/s or more is recommended for this lighting setup.
A lookbook is a portfolio or catalog of images that represents one line of a designers products, such as a spring fashion line. Lookbook and catalog photography is something that one can shoot in every city, small or large. Prom dress and wedding boutiques have new designs every year.
Speaking of lookbooks, here is the simple one light setup we used last year for designer Lizzie Parker. A lookbook is a portfolio or catalog of images that represents one line of a designers products, such as a spring fashion line.
Why one light and not two? Well, the idea was to keep the attention on the wardrobe and model…not the lighting. Secondly, Lizzie insisted that the images show the detail in the fabric. Here previous “guy in LA” blew out the highlights and lost the detail for her 2009 shoot. And finally, she wanted a simple and understated quality to the images.
Is it possible to light a 16′ x 20′ cyc wall with just one light? Absolutely, just move that panel/strobe unit at least 10-12 feet from the model and let it light the whole set. Then, bring in two large reflectors for fill….a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio.
Can one do this in a two car studio garage…YEP! I would suggest using at a minimum an Alien Bee 1600 (or 2 AB/800′s side-by-side). I used the Photogenic PLR2500DR which has a 6 f-stop flash output range from 32 to 1000Ws. My guess is that I was at about 600ws.
If your a portrait photographer, you now have a high key lighting setup, that doesn’t blow out the highlight detail. If you want a low-key portrait, simply dress the subject in darker clothing and use a darker shade of seamless paper. The possibilities are endless.
Have a larger group, use two panels and two lights side by side. Looks great for team photos and has that nice soft and warm light quality. How many softboxes do you know of that are 10′ x 16′ and cost under $100 to make.
RAW processing was done in Adobe Camera RAW, with basic exposure, contrast, and color adjustments. No PS corrections for lighting.
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