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Behind the Scenes: Lighting Setup for a Dramatic Look

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Shooting for a Specific Look

Because the wardrobe and headpiece was so colorful and large for this shot we wanted to the final image to reflect that dramatic look. We custom built a headpiece for this shoot using foam and our hairstylist attached fabric and wrapped the Hair around it to form the base using lots of staples and bobby pins! We then added in all the feathers to complete the peacock look. The focal point for the final image will be all of the feathers so it was important to make sure our lighting showed it off well.


The setup for this was a little more complex, it was important to see all the detail in the feathers on the side of her head as well as prevent Shadows on her Face.  We used a beauty dish as the main Light, a gridded reflector to scrape across the headpiece, gridded soft box for the rim Light, and a v-flat behind the camera for fill.

Camera Settings

I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any lens distortion so I shot with a 70-200 lens at 135 mm, f/16, 1/125 at ISO 100. Shooting at a low ISO is always the best way to work so you don’t have to try and fix Noise later.

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