Forums > Photography Talk > Headshot lighting Solution needed

Photographer

The Glamour Cartel

Posts: 72

New York, New York, US

Some of the best light for head shots is indirect sunlight or diffused window light. It is continuous and encompassing enough to give your subject a lot of freedom. This comes in handy when your subject isn't a professional model.

http://i47.tinypic.com/2610leh.jpg

___
___
___
___

Peter Hurley's solution is a sqaure combination of Kinoflo banks
_______________________________________________
http://i47.tinypic.com/2py3y9h.jpg
http://learningdslr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/kino-flo-500x279.png
http://connierenda.com/uploads/connie_slideshow_5.jpg

But a 2 panel solution also comes close, and will likely require a little more retouching than the 4 panels

http://i50.tinypic.com/mjyb9e.jpg

I'm looking for a solution that is affordable and a lot more portable.

Litepanels has a large Cinema grade LED ring light
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 … ystem.html
But it cost over $8k

Anyone have any affordable and portable suggestions?

Aug 08 12 08:32 pm Link

Photographer

Oscar Partida

Posts: 732

Palm Springs, California, US

instead of those setups.i would try 1 Beauty Dish high above,slightly tilted with a reflector in the botom for fill i think it looks more modern and less bussy


,,look at Sean Armenta Beauty Lighting
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oscar-Par … 143?ref=hl
smile

Aug 08 12 08:49 pm Link

Photographer

-Ira

Posts: 2191

New York, New York, US

What exactly are you trying to achieve?

Your examples are all quite different.

Aug 08 12 08:54 pm Link

Photographer

The Glamour Cartel

Posts: 72

New York, New York, US

-Ira wrote:
What exactly are you trying to achieve?

Your examples are all quite different.

I forgot people don't read. The first image is window light. The next images are of Peter Hurley's setup and his images. His images aren't very different from each other.

Aug 08 12 08:56 pm Link

Photographer

The Glamour Cartel

Posts: 72

New York, New York, US

Oscar Partida wrote:
instead of those setups.i would try 1 Beauty Dish high above,slightly tilted with a reflector in the botom for fill i think it looks more modern and less bussy


smile

I like the beauty dish look. The problem is that your subject won't have as much room to maneuver. Also I want continuous light so that I won't have to wait for flash to reach its needed power. Florescent and LEDs maintain their output and color throughout the shoot. Not even the sun can do that.

Headshots aren't about highlighting photography. They are about showing your subject at their best. I know how to add shape and depth. The simple thing I need is portable continuous window type light. I thought the examples and descriptions in my post were pretty clear.

Aug 08 12 09:00 pm Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18219

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

I light high in Umbrella or Halo, reflector below, one lite panel on each side. If you want add a hair light.
Nancy Brown described it in one of her books and was what she used for almost all head shots.

Works for me
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/050607/17/42a61c1172c0e_m.jpg

Aug 08 12 09:05 pm Link

Photographer

Joe Peffer

Posts: 298

Miami, Florida, US

I use natural light, most paid head shooters use HDMI's or LED on budget. I go outside and get the natural tones easily, no reflectors needed. Also depends on the style your going for, fashion, beauty, actor or business.

Aug 08 12 09:07 pm Link

Photographer

Joe Peffer

Posts: 298

Miami, Florida, US

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120628/13/4fecbf641b4dc.jpg

Aug 08 12 09:08 pm Link

Photographer

Erika Barker

Posts: 72

New York, New York, US

Hmm, try taking a Beauty Dish, with a diffusion sock, and set it about 15 feet away from your subject.  You want it to be slightly angle down on the subject so you can bounce light to avoid harsh shadows under the chin.  This can be a bit tricky, depending on what you want, but for this I would try to position the beauty dish so the center was slight above the subject's forehead. 

The trick here is to buy some poster boards that have a glossy surface, and put them all over the floor, and have your subject stand on them.  Use  2 32-inch reflectors, slighty angled up toward the subject, positioned at 45 degree angles in front of the subject's left and right side. 

If you want to get fancy, you can use some California Bounces as side reflectors, and lightly fire a strobe through them.

Shoot your subject at f/2.2 - tweak, and adjust your lighting. 

I hope this helps.  The secret is killing the shadows under the jaw.  So lot's of white stuff on the floor!

Aug 08 12 09:13 pm Link

Photographer

Awesome Headshots

Posts: 2369

San Ramon, California, US

Downward angle, natural light and a 4'X3' white board angled towards the chin, just below the chest area.

Aug 08 12 09:23 pm Link

Photographer

T-D-L

Posts: 10303

Los Angeles, California, US

Large diffused modifier above, v-flats on both sides enveloping the subject, reflector below, maybe another pointed behind the subject bouncing off all the white surfaces of the v-flats for fill.  That's where I'd start...

Aug 08 12 09:48 pm Link

Photographer

Jose Deida

Posts: 1215

BLANDON, Pennsylvania, US

2 Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Head A To Go Set
2 20x51" Rotalux Strip Softbox
2 Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Reflector Adaptor for EL Reflectors

$3,608.88

or

http://cheesycam.com/ for some cheap continuous

Aug 08 12 09:49 pm Link

Photographer

ELiffmann

Posts: 1414

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US

The answer you seek might be here.  If not, I'm sure you'll find something useful.    http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=96872

Aug 08 12 10:04 pm Link

Photographer

Piscis Noctis

Posts: 11036

San Diego, California, US

Erika Barker  wrote:
Hmm, try taking a Beauty Dish, with a diffusion sock, and set it about 15 feet away from your subject.

you sure? :-P

Aug 08 12 10:15 pm Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8844

Seattle, Washington, US

how about using a window and white piece of foam from home depot for a reflector....

http://archives.marklaubenheimer.com/image.php?image=/models/2012/08-07-2012_Masha_Victoria/masha3web07.jpg&quality=70&width=600

Aug 08 12 10:28 pm Link

Photographer

Lumatic

Posts: 13750

Brooklyn, New York, US

The Glamour Cartel wrote:

I like the beauty dish look. The problem is that your subject won't have as much room to maneuver. Also I want continuous light so that I won't have to wait for flash to reach its needed power. Florescent and LEDs maintain their output and color throughout the shoot. Not even the sun can do that.

Headshots aren't about highlighting photography. They are about showing your subject at their best. I know how to add shape and depth. The simple thing I need is portable continuous window type light. I thought the examples and descriptions in my post were pretty clear.

What about something like this?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Photo-Studio-Pr … 2152wt_841

Aug 08 12 10:29 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36284

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

The Glamour Cartel wrote:
Some of the best light for head shots is indirect sunlight or diffused window light.

Totally agree... and I see sooooooo many photographers using loads of headshot lighting overkill... roll

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110303/22/4d7086e38892a.jpg

Shot of Britney taken in 100% window light... borat

Aug 08 12 10:42 pm Link

Photographer

Rudi Brooker

Posts: 404

Manchester, England, United Kingdom

The Glamour Cartel wrote:
...and encompassing enough to give your subject a lot of freedom. This comes in handy when your subject isn't a professional llama.

For headshots this is most important.  Forget anything that requires the subject to be fixed in a certain position or facing a certain way.  You want them to move around all over the place so they can relax and don't get tense.  Also, you need an easy light source that you can set and forget, so you can concentrate on them and not be fiddling with equipment.

The light source needs to be as big as possible, but still with some direction to give 3-dimensionality to the face.  As with traditional beauty lighting, the majority of the light should come from above.  Everything else is just fill or catchlights, or what I call Eye-socket Eliminators.

If you are using daylight, the easiest is to have a big window behind you.  Peter Hurley's box Kinoflo setup was (according to him) designed to replicate that.  Very easy to work with and good results.  Light from a side is problematic if that happens to be the side of the llama you don't want to be brighter.

Personally I wouldn't use continuous lighting because llamas don't like it and they end up with watery eyes.  I typically shoot headshots at f/2.8, and with strobes close to the llama, recycle time is a non issue.  The strobes recycle faster than I can focus and shoot.

Cheapest simplest option with nowhere to bounce? - I'd recommend the biggest umbrella you can get and a reflector.

If you really want continuous light and cheap, a basic halogen light into an umbrella world be fine if heat is manageable.

My headshot page
My headshot blog

Aug 09 12 02:51 am Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36284

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

Read Bethany's comment under this pic on the MM port... and I'm not the arguing type... wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120626/22/4feaa14185200.jpg
The solution?... shooting between double makeup mirrors... borat

Aug 09 12 03:41 am Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5334

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

There's a simple but very effective headshot setup that I learned at one of JT Smith's Supershoots workshops last year and have used for many of the headshots I've done in the past 11 months or so.

Two large softboxes arranged in an inverted V shape (they come together and form a point at the top). One large Photoflex-style reflector below and slightly in front of the softboxes - about waist level on the model and angled back slightly toward the model.

The model stands under the V. You can turn the softboxes to feather the light or change the ratio (which normally is 1:1) - or just leave them in the basic V as in my avatar (below).

Simple, no?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111211/16/4ee5465768aea.jpg

Aug 09 12 04:04 am Link

Photographer

Creative Concept Studio

Posts: 2590

Fort Worth, Texas, US

Homemade solution:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7072/7387400440_da6aa9d2ca_z.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7088/7387399540_1de3e2d187_z.jpg

Camera     Nikon D800
Exposure     0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture     f/1.4
Focal Length     85 mm
ISO Speed     100

Aug 09 12 04:26 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

nvm

Aug 09 12 05:07 am Link

Photographer

Y E N

Posts: 843

Memphis, Tennessee, US

If you are looking for a Peter Hurley look (which I personally don't like) you can use one strip light on each side of the camera and your background will depend on what you want.  By the way my profile pic is window light

Aug 09 12 07:35 am Link

Photographer

Leighthenubian

Posts: 2975

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oscar Partida wrote:
instead of those setups.i would try 1 Beauty Dish high above,slightly tilted with a reflector in the botom for fill i think it looks more modern and less bussy


,,look at Sean Armenta Beauty Lighting
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oscar-Par … 143?ref=hl
smile

This...

Aug 09 12 09:29 am Link

Photographer

Wild Image Media

Posts: 173

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
how about using a window and white piece of foam from home depot for a reflector....

http://archives.marklaubenheimer.com/image.php?image=/models/2012/08-07-2012_Masha_Victoria/masha3web07.jpg&quality=70&width=600

Nicely done, cost effective

Aug 09 12 12:42 pm Link

Photographer

The Glamour Cartel

Posts: 72

New York, New York, US

I took these pictures outdoors. I stood the subject under a building awning just at the edge of the shade. It's some of the most diffused light possible. He's also getting sunlight bouncing off of the sidewalk for fill. Peter Hurley's lighting is similar to this with Kino's. If I could find an affordable and portable way to get this type of light continually in studio i'd be golden.

http://i45.tinypic.com/30mpz08.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/1zcjwwh.jpg
Just in case anyone is curious [ISO 100 f2, 85mm on a 20D]

I wonder if LED Fresnels would be cool enough to put softboxes on. In which case I'd still have to worry about attaching them. A Fresnel through an umbrella may do the trick but i'm sure there'd be a hot spot to contend with.

Sep 03 12 08:31 pm Link

Photographer

Mortonovich

Posts: 5713

San Diego, California, US

I use a ring flash I rigged that cost about $20.00.
Here's the DIY thread:
http://secure.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th … age=1#last

Sample:
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f249/mortophoto/Geena-2012-07-03-085.jpg

Sep 03 12 09:34 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 34376

Los Angeles, California, US

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110822/20/4e532176a34b4_m.jpg

Pure window light. sitting, so the light would trend from above.

Sep 03 12 11:33 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 34376

Los Angeles, California, US

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120325/00/4f6ecd8edb7be_m.jpg

A soft-box parallel to a reflector. Model sandwiched in between but placed toward the back of the sandwich, so that most of both surfaces were in front of her.

Sep 03 12 11:35 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 34376

Los Angeles, California, US

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110805/00/4e3ba02b991b8_m.jpg

She's facing straight at a window.

Sep 03 12 11:36 pm Link

Photographer

K I S S P H O T O

Posts: 596

Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

I love natural light but sometimes there just isnt enough light coming through the windows.
natura light
http://www.staceyclarkephoto.com/img/portrait/portrait_01.jpg

beautydish
http://www.staceyclarkephoto.com/img/portrait/portrait_03.jpg

id love to see a solution on making studio light look likewindow light!

Sep 04 12 01:08 am Link

Photographer

robert christopher

Posts: 2681

Snohomish, Washington, US

i used 4 of these in the peter hurley style for this headshot of amelia

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Photogr … 630wt_1165

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120808/14/5022de0e6388c_m.jpg


for my avatar i used one beauty dish above and a silver reflector under, chest high

Sep 04 12 05:00 am Link

Photographer

robert christopher

Posts: 2681

Snohomish, Washington, US

K I S S P H O T O wrote:
I love natural light but sometimes there just isnt enough light coming through the windows.
natura light

id love to see a solution on making studio light look likewindow light!

this is the closest i have found for the window light look, at least in my small studio

http://www.backdropoutlet.com/WALL-OF-L … o/SCW1000/

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120731/21/5018b54d0249d_m.jpg

Sep 04 12 05:05 am Link

Photographer

You Can Call Me Pierre

Posts: 765

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Here is my attempt with a setup inspired by Peter Hurley's lighting :
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120306/20/4f56e44bc5335.jpg
I used 6 speedlights, a trio of YN-560, one YN-565 and a pair of SB-900. 

My suggestion for an affordable and portable suggestions is setting up a wall of 4 4x8 white foamcore panels behind you and bouncing a quartet of YN-560, 50USD each, with the wide angle diffuser deployed, or set at 24mm.  You will need another pair of YN-560 for the background.

A continuous alternative that's affordable would be work lights from Home Depot.

Sep 04 12 05:22 pm Link

Photographer

Rick Edwards

Posts: 6165

Wilmington, Delaware, US

98% of my stuff is window light

Sep 04 12 05:24 pm Link