While I was doing my 365 Project, I wanted to challenge myself with using 4 or more lights and using different colors for a shoot. I came up with a perfect lighting setup to for this experiment. I did want to do the colored background in camera, and not just changing the colors in photoshop, so I opted for using gels.
Materials and equipment I used for this shot
- Black Granite tile
- 5 flashes – (2) Nikon Sb-600‘s and (3) 160w Studiostrobes
(Other strobes will do just as well, but this is what I was using)
- 1 umbrella (Mainlight)
- 2 softboxes (Kicker lights)
- 1 snoot (Optional)
- Stofen omnibounce for sb-600 (To make the circular effect
on the background with gel)
- Seamless White Paper (background)
Step by Step Instructions
Normally in a shoot, I start with setting the main light, but with this shoot I started with the background light. I did this because I wanted to get the gradient feel effect on the background and highlight perfect, and not deal with the effects fro the other lights. After setting a working space, I set a big black granite tile as the base for the subject to get a nice reflection.
I used the first SB-600 for the background – a seamless white paper – with Color Effect gels and stofen omnibounce. This combination gives a nice circular and gradient feel in the background.
I didn’t have enough highlights in the middle of the colored background so I used a separate flash with a snoot to put a stronger highlight in the middle of the gelled light.
After getting the background I wanted, I placed a second sb-600 with a shoot thru umbrella (Bounced) 45 degrees above my subject for the mainlight.
Next, I placed 2 studio strobes mounted with softboxes a little bit behind the subject from both left and right to get a bit of the rimlighting.
Here are some setup shots
This was my final setup shot for this shoot. I changed different colored gels from cyan,cto gel, and pink gel to get the colored background I wanted.
Here is the breakdown:
- (1) – Mainlight with umbrella (bounced) @ 1/2 power
- (2&3) – softboxes for rim lighting @ 1/16 power
- (4) – flash with a stofen omnibounce and colored gels @1/2 power
- (5) – flash with snoot to get a strong highlight in the
background @ 1/16
Here are some final photos shot using different subjects and different gels for
This was my final output after doing a triptych with shots in photoshop and
cleaning the dust in the granite tile and background.
I also use a very similar lighting setup for some of my portrait
shoots. There is an added reflector (or another lightsource) below the subject for added
fill. Credits to Miracle Joy Diao for modeling.