Soft fashion light – The Lighting Series #11

Jan 19, 2019

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.

Soft fashion light – The Lighting Series #11

Jan 19, 2019

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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Sometimes, you want a hard light to make a statement, but sometimes, you want a soft light, a light that draws little attention to itself. That was the case with our Model in a Red Dress shoot.

Nikon D800, 85mm f1.8 @f7.1, ISO 200, 1/160s

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.

Gear

Lighting setup

If you were to analyze a bunch of fashion shoots, one thing will stand out: almost all of them will involve hard light.

For this shoot, we wanted to have that typical fashion look, with its common dynamics and lighting motifs, but at the same time create a softer lighting effect.

To help achieve this, we settled on a relatively cheap parabolic umbrella. “Relatively cheap” meaning that it cost less than $150 but has a diameter of 180cm.

The peculiarity of parabolic umbrellas is that they radiate light across a very large area, but this light emerges almost parallel from the source. You get hard shadows but still a pretty smooth and soft light.

Our cheap umbrella here is certainly not as crisp as the big (and outrageously expensive) alternatives from Briese or Broncolor, but if it stands unused in a corner for 11 months and 29 days in a year, you won’t feel as if you’re not getting value from it.

The height of the light sources

The color concept

One thing was important for this photo: we wanted to take it away from the polished studio look and bring it more towards an art workshop feel. The model wore red clothes and makeup. In Photoshop, the colors were adjusted, and her skin tone was brought down a bit to really make the red pop.

The green background forms a color contrast across the scene. One background was laid across the floor and secured with bricks while the second one was used as an actual background. You can see how it curls up a bit at the bottom, contributing to the less polished feel of the photo.

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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2 responses to “Soft fashion light – The Lighting Series #11”

  1. Abhishek Galshar Avatar
    Abhishek Galshar

    I wanted such a like backdrop Where I get it online ?

    1. RAWexchange Avatar
      RAWexchange

      it’s a Gravity Backdrop.