Why complicate a simple shot?
This is the second in a series of re-imagined beauty images of Cody Cataluffi from 2019
Cody - shot on a long summer's afternoon, just outside Richmond Park, London UK
I hope you enjoy viewing the image - Colin
Pixel Peepers’ Notes & Newbie Hints & Tips:
Lighting Set up: This is shot directly in the afternoon sun. You can see that the sun is top right, from the side, slightly behind the model. There is a half gold reflector, filling the shadows from the left. It's set parallel to the model, so that it doesn't "uplight" her. Additionally, there is a diffused Speedlight to produce the key lights in the eyes. It's on a stand, back over my shoulder. The diffuser is a old white handkerchief, held on with a rubber band! The Speedlight is an old skool Metz! I'm firing it with a pair of radio trigger/receivers, No TTL, 1/4 power on the dial. A few test frames to get the exposure dialled in. The transmitter is mounted to the hot shoe on the camera. There is also a large white rectangular reflector, set low, to add the soft light under the key lights in Cody's eyes. I'm using the kit bag to prop it up. It adds a lovely soft glow to the bottom of the irises and also adds some light to them too. It has little further influence on the exposure as the sun is too strong. It's more reflection than light. It is slightly opening up the shadows under her nose, chin and bust (a fraction).
Most of my pro shots avoid this amount of shape in the face. I have developed my lighting techniques to soften and blend shadows on the face. This has been due to 25 years of feedback from picture editors and agency creative directors over the years. It makes a refreshing change not to be constricted to magazine requirements and repro specs. I quite like the shape of the shadows on the face.
Colin's comment for Sony Shooters: I have run many tests with my GM lenses, and this is a good example of the tonal quality that we may get from the FE 70-200 2.8GM lens as opposed to the FE 85 1.4GM lens when used with beauty lighting. Whilst this shot has lovely tones in the face it cannot compare with the 85mm for the tonal quality of the skin. I had to work up the lighting solution much more than I would when using the 85. The 85mm has a "blended" look to skin tones that I've never seen in another lens.
You can see an example of the 85 in an article I recently posted here
Since owning the lens I have not had to opportunity shoot "beauty" with a model with darker skin tones, to see how the lens renders richer and darker tonal ranges. I've only shot "lifestyle". I'm really looking forward to a beauty session lined up with a stunning model of colour, when the UK lock down ends in the spring...
I'll keep you posted... Colin