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Photographer
mjartphotography
Posts: 172
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom


hi

I am able to use an old but very 'elegant' house for a lingerie shoot and it looks fantastic.  It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  It can appear quite dark in some corners and i wanted to ask about lighting.

When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  I have access to softboxes and a flash lighting kit.  Should i just stick to the natural light?  How would I use the lighting (if at all)?

This is my first location shoot, hence the questions.

Thank you.
Sep 11 13 12:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rudolph Uhlman Photo
Posts: 164
Pendleton, Oregon, US


A 5in1 reflector would probably be best in this situation.
Sep 11 13 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Fletcher
Posts: 7,120
Norman, Oklahoma, US


If you have East and West facing windows shoot early or late as needed to get the light coming in.  This is natural light coming from the setting sun and reflected off rusty old barn metal.

18+

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/7008841

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/5549423
Sep 11 13 12:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
mjartphotography
Posts: 172
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom


I have a reflector so would this be used with just the natural light?  Would you go for the gold side or the silver?  I know it makes a difference in skin tones but which do you folks prefer?
Sep 11 13 12:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Amul La La
Posts: 805
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom


As mentioned above, a fairly big reflector could do nicely.

I guess it depends on the look you're going for, I don't use reflectors, because I like the uneven effect it has.
Sep 11 13 12:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rudolph Uhlman Photo
Posts: 164
Pendleton, Oregon, US


mjartphotography wrote:
I have a reflector so would this be used with just the natural light?  Would you go for the gold side or the silver?  I know it makes a difference in skin tones but which do you folks prefer?

The color reflector you use depend on the look you want. When I shoot lingerie I usually go with the gold or white side of the reflector. This is just my opinion and actual results may vary.
EDIT: yes this would be used with the natural light.

Sep 11 13 12:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,720
Upland, California, US


mjartphotography wrote:
I am able to use an old but very 'elegant' house for a lingerie shoot and it looks fantastic.  It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  Should i just stick to the natural light?

You nailed it and pretty much answered your own question.  That natural windowlight will be amazing.  Here's a natural windowlight shot at one of those elegant antique filled houses... borat

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130715/04/51e3dea80651d.jpg

Sep 11 13 01:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Toto Photo
Posts: 2,611
Belmont, California, US


mjartphotography wrote:
It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  It can appear quite dark in some corners and i wanted to ask about lighting.

Sounds like you may not get a lot of well-lit background if you place the main subject within the streaming-light space. That could be cool--your brightish subject could be composed such that the dark corners of the room form a natural vignetting or an offset of dark against light.

If you bring the reflector do five poses with and then repeat those five poses without. It's very possible having falloff on the models face with little or no detail might mimic/enhance the room's mood.

Be sure to bring a tripod if you're leaning towards all natural lighting!!

mjartphotography wrote:
When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?

Tricky question. Large eflectors can take up a large two-dimensional space but are usually made on bendy frames which gives more options for placement. So reflectors would be most flexible in a small space, especially different sized reflectors and would be my first choice.
However, if I got to shoot within an old house like that, I would be awfully tempted to bring strobes (and an assistant) just in case the window-only lighting was too confining. If softboxes prove to be too big, one can always bounce off walls. BUT in small rooms flagging will be very difficult, due to spill--so studio strobes may not work moodily at all.

Maybe just off camera speedlights as a second option? Especially if you have strobist type equipment and tendencies.

One way you could avoid packing strobes is if you could get in the house days before, hopefully at the same hour, and meter the existing light to see if you can live with natural lighting and the representative ISOs and noise from different vantages.

Sep 11 13 02:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Toto Photo
Posts: 2,611
Belmont, California, US


mjartphotography wrote:
I have a reflector so would this be used with just the natural light?  Would you go for the gold side or the silver?  I know it makes a difference in skin tones but which do you folks prefer?

Depends on other objects in the house. I usually use gold if I'm attempting to simulate sunset/sunrise but if the main light (from the window) isn't gold, I wouldn't use gold for the fill, too jarring. On the other hand if everything in the background were gold and/or guilt edged, I could see the gold side working too. Try some of both. Maybe this will be an educational shoot for you.

Sep 11 13 02:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,561
Plainview, Texas, US


In tight spaces my go-to lighting is a small shoot-through umbrella - used with either a small monolight or a battery speedlight. Usually I prefer the battery light for easier, quicker setup and moving around. If I have access to outlets the monolight has the the advantage of a modeling light, but modeling lights are not always that helpful if you're mixing flash with natural light.

I suggest a custom white balance and/or include a gray card in your test shots for easier adjustment later. Auto white balance can give very inconsistent results - a set balance, even if not exactly right, keeps the photos consistent for easier post processing. Of course you need to rebalance when you change lighting or move to a different room.
Sep 11 13 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vector One Photography
Posts: 2,692
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


Bring it all.... and bring two of some things. I like the window light but you usually need a reflector to give you detail on the opposite side from the source. And what do you do when the sun rises in the sky and no longer gives you the right angle or gets later in the morning and not the right color/temp/warmth ? And what do you do if the day you show up doesn't have any sun.  I don't want to be stereotypical you're 75 Km from London and isn't that known for fog and gloomy days ? 

Bring it all, on location you never know what you'll run into and why waste a great location  ?
Sep 11 13 03:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,989
Fairfax, Virginia, US


mjartphotography wrote:
hi

I am able to use an old but very 'elegant' house for a lingerie shoot and it looks fantastic.  It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  It can appear quite dark in some corners and i wanted to ask about lighting.

When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  I have access to softboxes and a flash lighting kit.  Should i just stick to the natural light?  How would I use the lighting (if at all)?

This is my first location shoot, hence the questions.

Thank you.

A lot depends upon what type of result you're trying to get (extreme contrast?  lots of shadow?)

But generally speaking:
1.  Reflector is a must.
2.  Probably a scrim if you have E-W windows with direct light streaming in.
3.  Probably some type of fill light (especially if it's small space).  OR you shoot with a tripod and use slower shutter speeds (1/20th, etc.) and stabilize the model (she's seated/reclining, etc.).

If you have experience with this, you might think of using gels or colored backdrops (a strong red satin cloth) that will add particular types of color to the scene but may allow you to be selective about the color.

Ed

Sep 11 13 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will_DB
Posts: 246
Derby, England, United Kingdom


One technique I would like to try in that context would be to bounce a flash off surfaces like walls floors etc. Not room-filling bounce flash, but to create an accent light which picks up the colour of whatever it's reflecting off. Think of the warm light of a shaft of sunlight reflecting off a parquet floor, for instance.
Sep 11 13 04:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,756
Fresno, California, US


mjartphotography wrote:
hi

I am able to use an old but very 'elegant' house for a lingerie shoot and it looks fantastic.  It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  It can appear quite dark in some corners and i wanted to ask about lighting.

When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  I have access to softboxes and a flash lighting kit.  Should i just stick to the natural light?  How would I use the lighting (if at all)?

This is my first location shoot, hence the questions.

Thank you.

It completely depends on the location and what you are trying to do.

I shot this EP of TV Chef/ Author Martin Yen with an event sponsor using window light and a skylight to light this kitchen shot.

Camera: Nikon D2X
Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 12 mm
ISO Speed: 640


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8099/8468715849_6d5129c981_n.jpg
MartinYan by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

I shot this shot using nothing but the ambient environmental light for a business publication.

Camera: Nikon D3
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length; 14 mm
ISO Speed: 4000

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3006/2613616068_69533d0973.jpg
TheLoftSalon01061908 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

I shot this image of Emmy award-winning actor Michael Badalucco for PR kit for the movie "Finding Hope Now", using a strobe of the left side of the photo. I had to make sure the Loft was a part of the image because of a trade deal. So I meter the back ground and had an exposure of f/5 at 1/60 so set my flash to match that exposure.

Camera    Nikon D3
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 28 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash    On, Return detected


http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2566/3686927877_6df3e5af8b.jpg
FHNWrap07062509 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

A few years earlier I had shot that same loft for a Real Estate ad. I shot before it was complete the electrical were not finished on so I had to run extensions to power my normans. The trick was to light up so the view would not be lost so I took an ambient light reading of the windows then set my flashes output to match the windows.

Camera: Nikon D2X
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 12 mm
ISO Speed: 100


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5174/5449003547_dfbe2f15b7_n.jpg
loftsD06102307 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

For this shot of a model I wanted to use the glass bricks of this office building so I placed a spot light behind the the tiles I the meter for light coming through the tiles then using my ringlight flash to light the model up.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2577/4026757045_dd2f2999ee_m.jpg
EmilyJoDerderian37101809 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2786/4026757169_c1328bcdbc.jpg
Ring Flash by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

I did this shot in a cigar store I wanted to show the contrast of textures of the models skin, the chairs leather, and the boots so I opted on using studio strobes and soft boxes.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2046/2274000370_aca9bd96d3.jpg
DSC_0099 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8106/8477723577_c8532bf083.jpg
Boots by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

So in the end it complete depends on the goal of the shoot.

Sep 11 13 06:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Howell Tearsheets
Posts: 572
Jersey City, New Jersey, US


Unlike some of the other responses here that direct you to over-power the existing light and potentially eliminate the unique qualities of your location, I would suggest considering a light use of strobe light to bring your subject/model into the range of light coming in from the windows and use the window-light in/as your background if you find it appealing.

I frequently find that a single softbox, balanced to ambient light from a window, is effective to take compelling photos in interesting environments while still preserving the feel of the ambience of locations. I generally can't rely on window light alone being enough (or in the right place) to carry depth or have the consistent color that I need for some of my shoots.

two very different examples of the same technique:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080418/09/48089cba4fef5_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130320/18/514a62253f0e1_m.jpg
Sep 11 13 08:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich
Posts: 5,377
San Diego, California, US


Man, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to answer these questions without seeing the room(s), outfits and model. It's sorta like asking how to write poetry. There are a million ways of doing it and every one of them is the correct way.

I would think though that if the windows and natural light streaming in are wonderful, it would be a shame to overpower that with a lot of other light sources. Sounds like I personally would go with a very subtle fill light approach.

Is there a way you can post a shot of the room and then maybe an inspo photo of what you are trying to achieve?
Sep 11 13 09:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
mjartphotography
Posts: 172
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom


Thanks for the comments so far.  Lots to consider.   I will aim to post some shots of the location and model today.
Sep 11 13 11:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,955
Albany, New York, US


mjartphotography wrote:
When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  I have access to softboxes and a flash lighting kit.  Should i just stick to the natural light?  How would I use the lighting (if at all)?

This is my first location shoot, hence the questions.

It really depends on what you yourself are most comfortable with & what you're visually trying to go for.

These were shot at scummy locations where "adequate" light was poor at best. I don't even bother using a reflector but that's partially our of sheer laziness but also realistically wanting to keep things simple.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/43ac0f41c817 … o1_400.jpg +18
http://31.media.tumblr.com/9bc292525817 … o1_400.jpg +18

While this one was shot (literally) inside one of those old school freight elevators using my small strobe light.

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbx0g … o1_400.jpg +18

Natural light only or strobe lights only aren't any better than the other. It simply changes in how you need to approach them. Natural is all about observing where the light is ALREADY hitting your subject, strobe/studio lighting is all about where the light WILL hit your subject.

Sep 12 13 02:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
mjartphotography
Posts: 172
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom


These are quick shots of the location provided by the model.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954850eab_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523195466a568_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954493464_m.jpg

The model I am using;

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523191e511d96_m.jpg
Sep 12 13 03:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,951
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


It mostly depends on the style or mood you want.  Lingerie with natural light has a very different look than strobes.  Unless you have full reign to move furniture, natural light may give you few options for the direction of the light and composition of the background. 

A Photek Softlighter is great for small spaces and a large light source compared to its depth. 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 … er_II.html
Sep 12 13 05:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
1472
Posts: 1,058
Pembroke Pines, Florida, US


mjartphotography wrote:
These are quick shots of the location provided by the model.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954850eab_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523195466a568_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954493464_m.jpg

The model I am using;

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523191e511d96_m.jpg

For natural light I would only shoot in the first two areas

Sep 12 13 06:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


It entirely depends on the look and feel you're going for.

There is no one-size-fits-all response other than to bring reflectors and lights if you have them and feel you may need them.

Oh, and hope the high ISO performance of your camera is pretty good if you're hoping to shoot in natural light indoors in the UK in the autumn!



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com
Sep 12 13 06:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,861
Sun City, California, US


Natural light is perhaps best for those atmospheric arty shots - just deal with the slow shutter times with faster glass and a tripod if needed.

For lighting with strobe - I'll use my big ass shoot thru umbrella and shove it inside a doorway - leaving the bulk of the flash and stand in the hall.  It turns the doorway into a big soft light dome.  (leaving the bulk of the room to move and shoot in.)

The trouble is - it leaves you mostly with big flat soft light

This was the result in a pretty small bathroom with lots of reflective surfaces

18+ http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/13 … ccf846.jpg  You can see from her shadows that it fills the room reasonably well with just the single source

You mileage and location may vary
Sep 12 13 08:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J A Y S E N
Posts: 684
Los Angeles, California, US


Dan Howell Tearsheets wrote:
Unlike some of the other responses here that direct you to over-power the existing light and potentially eliminate the unique qualities of your location, I would suggest considering a light use of strobe light to bring your subject/model into the range of light coming in from the windows and use the window-light in/as your background if you find it appealing.

I frequently find that a single softbox, balanced to ambient light from a window, is effective to take compelling photos in interesting environments while still preserving the feel of the ambience of locations. I generally can't rely on window light alone being enough (or in the right place) to carry depth or have the consistent color that I need for some of my shoots.

two very different examples of the same technique:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080418/09/48089cba4fef5_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130320/18/514a62253f0e1_m.jpg

I agree with this.  I would focus on sucking up as much of that existing light as you can and then use a soft source to fill it in if necessary.  Maintain those unique qualities the location provides you.  If you're pushing your camera too close to its limits and it's possible to do so, consider putting a light source outside the windows to replace the existing light. 

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130618/16/51c0ec4701640_m.jpg

Sep 12 13 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FBY1K
Posts: 902
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany


mjartphotography wrote:
These are quick shots of the location provided by the model.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954850eab_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523195466a568_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/5231954493464_m.jpg

The model I am using;

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130912/03/523191e511d96_m.jpg

This looks like it would be a cool place to shoot a gorgeous model. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

FBY1K

Sep 12 13 01:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


mjartphotography wrote:
hi

I am able to use an old but very 'elegant' house for a lingerie shoot and it looks fantastic.  It is quite old but has amazing windows that stream the natural light in.  It can appear quite dark in some corners and i wanted to ask about lighting.

When doing a shoot in a close room (not that big) what type of lighting do you use?  I have access to softboxes and a flash lighting kit.  Should i just stick to the natural light?  How would I use the lighting (if at all)?

This is my first location shoot, hence the questions.

Thank you.

In smaller spaces, I often use hot lights which don't have to be quite as powerful since they end up closer.

If you're going for natural light, the closer you put your subject to the window, the darker the shadows will be. Deeper into the room will probably look better.

If you're concerned about dark shadows, try a bare bulb flash behind something opaque and bounce it off of everything at a very low setting to lighten the shadows. Then crush the blacks later if you made them too bright.

You may need to gel the flash with ND gels because when you bump the ISO up, even the lowest power can be too much light. Or try one of those Gary Fong things with a piece of black tape on the direct side so that there's no direct light.

Think of it as a wall-sized beauty dish.

Another option with the bare bulb is to put in in another room and light the entire other room, which will make the door function like a window light for fill - except you can control the brightness.

Sep 12 13 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DBIphotography Toronto
Posts: 3,198
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


mjartphotography wrote:
I have a reflector so would this be used with just the natural light?  Would you go for the gold side or the silver?  I know it makes a difference in skin tones but which do you folks prefer?

The white side. In my experiences, the silver side has a very harsh look; I avoid anything that makes the photos look that unnatural hmm  (I have one reflector with a silver side, and I use it from a distance on the darkest of times:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130905/23/522973c846489.jpg

IMHO alone;

Ðanny
DBIphotography Toronto (Blog On Site) 
DBImagery Toronto (Website)

"Will you look back on life and say, "I wish I had," or "I'm glad I did"?"
~ Zig Ziglar

Sep 13 13 02:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kirra Jayde
Posts: 352
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


I would be using natural light if you want to go for moody, otherwise using flash to emulate natural light.
I shot in this gorgeous old house one time which was nice and moody but a little on the dark side, so I had my assistant hold my speedlight just out of shot and pointed towards me to create a soft flare and fake the effect of window light coming down from behind the subject:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/162725_159529764090188_7355708_n.jpg

*edit, reflector in the front for fill
Sep 13 13 02:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


once you scout the venue pick the spots that look the best to use. dont pick to many spots concentrate on what you can get done in the time frame your giving yourself

visualise model at the areas your shooting and as if your looking through the frame.. think about the level youll be at, angle etc.. then look at the availble light first and foremost and if you feel you can get a good enough result with whats there. if you need a tripod and higher iso dont be afraid to use em models can stand and not blink for more than a split second wink

if you feel certain areas will be to dark then think about using fill for that area.. wether by reflecting availble light soures like lamp shades or using light coming in the windows or doors. if its not looking likely that you can use all the available light then you can think about bringing in additonal lighting like strobes, flash units for bouncing light into dark or shadow areas if you need to bring those areas up a bit to be able to record both the brightest and darkest areas in one frame

its really about what you feel is needed to improve whats in front of you

if it looks good then it will record well. if you need to use flash then your results will have to be previewed when your taking the pictures before making the final shots

think about the shoot as two different lighting setups.. one for the location (the surroundings) and one for lighting the subject..

hope this may help
Sep 13 13 04:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,110
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


As others have said, it depends on the look you want.

A few thoughts...

Have you been inside the location at the time of day when you plan to shoot? Do you know what time of day window light is best? Are there obstructions (trees, awnings, whatever) that might block the light? Do you have a Plan B in case it's a rainy day?

Here's one approach you might take. Plan on using window light. Take a 5-in-1 reflector and a stand in case you need to fill in shadows (not unlikely, at least for some shots). Put your strobes and softboxes in the trunk of your car in case it's rainy/cloudy day - or in case you want to shoot in an area that's not near a window.
Sep 13 13 07:46 am  Link  Quote 
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