How to create a low-key boudoir portrait- The Lighting Series #1

Dec 1, 2018

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

How to create a low-key boudoir portrait- The Lighting Series #1

Dec 1, 2018

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

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In this chapter of the Lighting Series, we are looking at a simple low-key portrait. Here, the skill lies in precise lighting and the posing of your model.

The lighting series is a comprehensive lighting guide. We talk about flash photography, lighting, posing, color, and walk you through a series of lighting setups. Some will be simple, some complex, but in the end, they are all tools to add to your photography toolbox. Here is a complete list of the lighting tutorials.

Equipment

  • 1x Striplight 140cm x 30cm on 500Ws Monoblock
  • Black Molton background

Setup

This setup uses a light source next to or just behind the model. A striplight works best here so that there’s a clean edge drawn across the model.

In order to maintain a really dark black background – and so as not to have to darken it later in Photoshop – use a black cloth. This will absorb a lot of the incidental light.

What’s exciting about this setup is the clear shapes that it produces, and the expanse of negative space around the model.

I prefer to position the light source slightly higher, meaning that the light comes from a more natural direction with the shadows falling downwards. We automatically query shadows that fall overhead so I try to avoid them.

The more harmonious and realistic the picture looks, the fewer questions it will provoke in the viewer.

Important: the edge of the light shouldn’t be broken. This may require some posing instructions for your model to keep the line clean.

Positioning

Downloads

For the pictures in the article, we used the light simulation Set.A.Light 3D. You can download the lighting setup and try everything for yourself. You can also download this series as a free ebook.

If you’ve never worked with Set.a.Light before, you should give it a try! There is also a free demo version on the website, which you can use to open these setups.

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Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

Join the Discussion

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One response to “How to create a low-key boudoir portrait- The Lighting Series #1”

  1. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    yes, good simple setup.. you can add some mask or color gel to the light to add some effect
    the set.a.light is cool btw :)