Advanced Photography Studio Lighting
Once you have a better understanding of basic lighting styles and have started to develop one yourself, you should start experimenting with more advanced lighting techniques. (If you are still a beginner read my other post). Advanced lighting setups may require some specialized equipment, such as ring flashed, reflectors, and flags, to create unique lighting effects. There is an endless number of setups you can put together to create advanced lighting styles, many of which have yet to even be discovered. Remember these are common lighting setups, and can be modified anyway you see fit.
This is a common lighting style, in which the subject is illuminated dramatically, while the background remains much darker. Fashion lighting styles borrow heavily from the five basic lighting setups, mostly because the basic setups were designed specifically for portrait lighting which fashion lighting resembles greatly. There are however more advanced techniques you can pursue when doing fashion lighting. One such technique is to set your fill light lower to the ground, angled upwards towards your model, and set your key light directly above your fill light facing straight ahead, leaving you with enough room to shoot between the two. This set up requires a larger and stronger key light to also add light to the background, but creates a dramatic lighting scheme with a well exposed subject and dark background.
Beauty lighting is very similar to portrait lighting and fashion lighting, but maintains a higher exposure and sharper contrast. This is typically due to replacing a light’s softbox with a beauty dish. This dish allows more light with less diffusion, creating stronger controlled exposures, and causing models to be illuminated with less shadows. Try using a beauty dish set at a 45 degree angle to your model, with a reflector along the opposite side of your model to create strong contrasted images.
Glamor lighting is a unique style of lighting in which the amount a subject and background are exposed are fairly close together. Glamor lighting can be tricky, since most of its light setups can potentially cause unwanted lens flaring and wash out. The trick to doing glamor lighting is to keep the subject and background universally and equally lit. The two most common types of glamor shots are the High Key, in which the subject and background are brightly exposed, and Low Key, in which the subject and background are barely exposed. A decent set up for doing this is to use a ring flash directly in front of the model, while using two lights on opposite sides to illuminate the model’s back, and another two lights to illuminate the background. Though a setup like this might require flags to keep the two lights illuminating the model’s back from causing lens flares.
Typically a lens flare is an unwanted anomaly, but a properly placed lens flare can really accent a photo. Creating a lens flare is fairly easy in a studio setting. Use a ring light or beauty dish, set at a 45 degree angle, to illuminate your model, and set another light without any sort of attachment in close proximity and directly behind your model. This will cause the an interesting light cast from behind the model, and if any of the light becomes exposed to the camera it will also cause a lens flare.