Nature’s Lighting Starter Kit: The Sun


Photography’s most basic lighting option, the sun, is also one of the most versatile. It can be bright and hard or dim and soft. It can be warm and highly directional, casting long shadows. Or, behind clouds, its light can be blue, diffuse, and shadow-free. As it crosses the sky, the sun serves as a front-, side-, back-, and/or hair-light. It always looks natural (because it is), and it’s always free. Cheyenne Ellis, an L.A.-based celebrity portraitist and advertising pro, used only the sun and a reflector to light this shot of Halle Berry made to promote Berry’s fragrance, Halle. Images from the shoot have appeared in US Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, and Shape magazines. You would think for such a high-profile project, Ellis would show up with more than a camera and a shiny $47 disk.


        Cheyenne Ellis是一位拍摄名人肖像和广告作品的洛杉矶专业摄影师,上面那张照片是她为著名演员哈莉·贝瑞拍摄的系列作品中的一张,在拍摄这张肖像时他只使用了阳光和反光板打光。该系列作品曾被“US Weekly”、“Harper’s Bazaar ”和“Shape”等杂志刊登。你可能会觉得在这样一个高调的拍摄项目中,摄影师Ellis一定不会只拿着一部相机和一个价值47美元的反光板去拍摄。

But, sunlight and a reflector are among her favorite lighting combinations. Her website, http://www.cheyenneellis.com, overflows with natural light. “I like the simplicity and flexibility of the reflector, and the shaping it brings out,” she says. “I rarely use a reflector aimed directly at a subject, though—too harsh. Instead, I feather it, making sure the reflection in the eyes is beautiful. It helped that the sand here acted as a giant fill card!” 


Cheyenne Ellis devised a clever way to deploy her 20-inch Flexfill Silver/White reflector ($47, street), without an assistant. Seated, she held it in her lap and aimed it with her forearms while shooting!

        Cheyenne Ellis设计了一个巧妙的方法,能够在不需要助手的情况下使用20英寸银/白色反光板:她坐下,将反光板放在腿上,在拍摄的同时用小臂调整反光板的方向。(如图所示)

Mixing Daylight And Strobe


Justin and Colleen Picciotti make up Dyad Photography, a Brooklyn, NY-based commercial and fine-art photography studio. For a personal project centered on food, the couple started with iconic images and took them in surprising directions. The result, on view at www. dyadphotography.com, is a series of images that at first seem to be conventional representations of food-in-motion, shot with stopaction techniques. Then you look more closely and do a double take. What you see are sometimes alarming, sometimes humorous pictures of food that flout photographers’ usual attempts at suggesting the three-dimensionality of their subjects.

        “Dyad摄影”是位于纽约市布鲁克林区的一家摄影工作室,由摄影师Justin和Colleen Picciotti组建,主要拍摄商业和艺术作品。两人曾拍摄过一个以食物为主题的私人项目,他们从拍摄符号性的图像开始将这个项目引向了令人惊讶的方向。该项目的作品展示在他们的网站上(www. dyadphotography.com[需翻墙,译者注]),这些作品乍一看是采用定格技术拍摄的“动态食物”,像是传统的展示图片。但如果你仔细观看,就会恍然大悟。你看到的作品有些令人震惊,有些令人捧腹,但这些关于食物的作品都根本不强调物体的三维性,而这正是其它摄影师试图在自己作品中突出的。

These images are flagrantly, almost transgressively two-dimensional. How do the Piciottis do it? As with most things studio, lighting played a crucial role. The painstakingly styled spaghetti and meatballs on the opposite page actually sits on top of a print of their photo of a table, chair, floor, and (clean) place setting. In order to fool your eye into seeing the scene as a single image, the lighting for the “room set” and the pasta had to almost match in color temperature and intensity— not necessarily easy because the table was lit by window light and the spaghetti by strobe.


Lighting, however, also helped clue viewers in to the fact that this picture wasn’t business as usual. For example, the Picciottis intentionally lit the pasta from the opposite direction of the window light falling on the table setting. “We chose the mixture of light sources with different orientations to help accentuate the play on perspective,” explains Colleen.


To make the spaghetti pop off the cooler background, they intentionally lit it with a slightly warmer light than the window light in the base image.


It took several hours to shoot and then print the base image. The photographers used white and silver reflectors and black flags to equalize light levels across the table, chair, and floor. They suspended their camera, a Hasselblad 501 with a Leaf Aptus 75 digital back and 50mm f/4 Carl Zeiss lens, over the table.

        摄影师们花费了数小时拍摄和打印桌面照片,他们采用白色/银色反光板和黑旗(black flag)使桌面、椅子和地板的光线层次保持一致。拍摄时他们将装有利图Aptus75数码后背的哈苏501相机悬挂在桌子上方,镜头则是50mm f/4卡尔·蔡司镜头。

When printing the base image on an Epson Stylus Photo R2400, the Picciottis used matte paper to minimize the chance of glare resulting from the strobe’s output during the second exposure.

        拍摄好的桌面照片用爱普生Stylus Photo R2400型打印机打印,摄影师Piciottis选用了亚光纸,这是为了避免相纸在二次拍摄中出现反光。

After styling the spaghetti, they lit the whole set with a white beauty dish whose broad, soft illumination simulated windowlight. “One of the tricks to lighting food is to use a more directional source so you can really see the different textures of each element,” Colleen says. “The beauty dish let us soften the light without taking away the direct shadow. We placed white and gray fill cards around the spaghetti to help deepen the shadows and underscore the lights’ direction.”

        在布置好意大利面后,摄影师用安装了雷达罩(原文为beauty dish,是安装在影室灯前的一个环形反光罩,光质中性偏硬,影室内多用来打眼神光,更自然。雷达罩是国内比较通用的叫法,故此处译为此。译者注)的影室灯为整个场景照明,这种光线广而柔,可以模拟窗户进入的光线。“拍摄食物时用光的一个技巧是使用方向性更强的光源,能够拍摄出每个元素的不同纹理”Piciottis说,“雷达罩可以使我们在不弱化阴影的情况下柔化光线,我们还在意大利面的周围放置了白色和灰色的补光板,进一步强化阴影并突出光线的方向”。

It also added dimension to the Parmesan cheese shavings, one of the most dramatic signs that this wasn’t a conventional food shot. An added benefit: Lowering the angle of the beauty dish helped them avoid glare on the base print.


To Light their faux stop-action shot of spaghetti, the Picciottis used windowlight for the base print, and, for the spaghetti, a profoto Acute2 2400 WS strobe ($3,245, street) outfitted with a profoto white beauty dish ($352, street). They fired the strobe wirelessly with a pocketWizard radio trigger ($351, street). White and gray reflecting cards helped intensify shadows that added dimension and underscored the direction of the light.

        在这张模拟定格摄影的作品用光方面,Picciottis使用窗户的自然光为桌面照明,使用宝富图(Profoto)Acute2 2400WS影室灯(3245美元)加宝富图白色雷达罩(352美元)为意大利面打光。影室灯采用PocketWizard 无线触发器(351美元)同步闪光。白色和灰色的补光板帮助增加阴影的密度,强化了阴影并突出了光线的方向。

A Location Pro Takes The Studio Outside


Perhaps one of the most daunting lighting challenges is the location shoot. You lug along lights, must find or bring power sources, and then seamlessly integrate ambient and artificial light sources.


For that reason, New York City pro Laura Barisonzi (www.barisonzi.com) originally wanted to go with natural light and reflectors for this portrait of a professional fitness model. “It would have been much easier than setting up lights and getting a power source for them,” says the sports and lifestyle specialist.

        出于以上原因,纽约市专业摄影师Laura Barisonzi在拍摄这张健美模特肖像之初只准备利用自然光和反光板拍摄,这位专业的体育和生活摄影师说,“这比搭设灯光,还要带着电源要简单多了”。

But spotty clouds rolled in and the ambient light fluctuated between direct and diffused sun.


The lighting strategy she ultimately used—two strobes overpowering the sun—let her continue shooting regardless of whether the sun was shining directly on her subject or not.


“For me, the trick to good location lighting is having enough power,” she says. With batteries, she doesn’t like the long recycle waits between pops. “And I end up rushing because I’m afraid the charge will die. So I power my strobes with a generator.”


For a neater set, she also likes working wirelessly with PocketWizard flash triggers.


To get this sunlit look, your lights must be high, hard, bright and aimed down at approximately 45 degrees. Lights perched that high can easily blow over, so when the wind picked up, Barisonzi weighted her stands with sand bags and had an assistant spot the higher stand on the left.


Laura Barisonzi lit this shot with two AlienBees B1600 strobes ($360, direct, each) and one GS1 grid Spot ($36, direct). The strobes were powered by a Honda EU3200i generator. Her camera was a Nikon D3 with 24–70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens.

        摄影师Laura Barisonzi在拍摄这张作品时使用了2支AlienBees B1600影室灯(每个360美元),1个GS1型蜂巢(原文为“grid spot”,是一种闪光灯附件,由于看起来非常像蜂巢,故得此名。作用是让光出现层次感,更硬更立体,适合烘托男性的硬朗。译者注),一台本田EU3200i型发电机提供电力。摄影师使用的相机是尼康D3,24-70mm f/2.8尼克尔镜头。

For Jewelry, It’s All About Sparkle


Reflective objects are often the hardest to light and, of these, jewelry is the most time-consuming. The challenge is to make inanimate objects shimmer and glow with vibrancy and life.


It’s a challenge that David Barowsky and Steven Devilbiss of Antfarm Photography (antfarmphotography.com) meet on a daily basis in their studio located in the heart of New York’s photo district.

        摄影师David Barowsky和Steven Deviliss每天都要面对这种挑战,他们是位于纽约市图片区(Photo District)的“Antfarm摄影”工作室的成员。

“We give a lot of attention to every facet, especially with diamonds, since they are so expensive,” says Barowsky. The 18-karat gold Faraone Mennella bracelets shown here are studded with very high-quality white, brown, and champagne pavé diamonds.

        “我们关注首饰的每一个方面,特别是钻石,因为它们都很昂贵”,摄影师Barowsky说。照片中的Faraone Mennella 18K金手镯上镶满了品相非常好的白钻、棕钻和香槟钻。

“For this shot, it’s all in the lighting, and we did very little imageediting after. Of course, we also needed a very sharp macro lens to capture the diamonds’ facets and subtle variations in color.”


Lighting jewelry is done one light at a time, and one facet or surface at a time. Some pieces can require up to a dozen lights and reflecting cards. “You keep working the lights on one surface until you get them right. When it looks good, you move on to the next light and surface,” Barowsky explains. “Make your set tight, and don’t allow ambient light to spill onto the piece and affect color temperature.”


Reflections from the background can reproduce as black dead zones. To prevent them, build a de facto light tent around your subject by completely surrounding it with lights, diffusers, and reflectors.


The main lights used here were 3200 watt-second Broncolor Unilite strobe heads diffused through large Plexiglas panels placed to the left and right of the bracelets. The subjects sat on a reflective sheet of brushed sterling silver. Because the light heads are gridded, their output fell off across the Plexiglas (hot in the center, and dimmer toward the edges) which, in turn, created subtle gradations of tone in the gold.


A highly focused Broncolor Picolite at the camera position added shine and sparkle to the diamonds, while the box light behind assured a clean white background and helped create the reflection on the silver sheet.


Absolute exposure control is crucial, and to get it, the photographers relied on exposure histograms. While many shooters use histograms to ensure that they preserve detail in either highlights or shadows (or both), jewelry photographers also use them to monitor flare and keep the sparkly highlights from blowing out. “One of the main challenges with shooting bright, shiny jewelry on white is flare,” says Barowsky.


“One trick for reducing it is to slowly bring up the background light until it reads 255 on the historgram. If it pushes past 255, it will add unnecessary flare.”


Antfarm Photography’s team lit these two gold and diamond bracelets with a snooted and gridded Broncolor picolite ($720 street) and two Broncolor 3200 Ws unilite strobe heads ($1,510, street, each). Both were powered by Broncolor grafit powerpacks. The camera was a Sinar P2 4×5 view camera outfitted with a Sinar 54h digital back, and Schneider Digitar 120mm f/5.6 macro lens set to f/32.

        Antfarm摄影工作室的团队拍摄这两个镶钻金手镯时使用了1支加装聚光罩和栅格的布朗Picolite型影室灯(720美元),2个布朗Unilite型3200WS灯头(每个1510美元),由布朗grafit电源供电。摄影师使用的是仙娜 P2 4X5相机,配仙娜54h数码后背,施耐德120mm f/5.6微距镜头,拍摄光圈为f/32。

Lots Of Lights Keep It Dark


Effective lighting is a crucial element in advertising photography. To get this shot for a 2010 brochure for the Honda CR-V minivan/SUV hybrid, LA-based automotive photographer Jeff Ludes (www.jeffiudes.com) needed 4 hours and a team of three assistants.

        有效地运用灯光是广告摄影的重要环节。上面这张照片是为本田CRV minivan和混合动力SUV的2010宣传册拍摄的,来自洛杉矶的汽车摄影师Jeff Ludes和它的3个助手用了4个小时拍摄了这张照片。

His main lights were Arri tungstens, without the Fresnel lenses that cinematographers often use as broad spots. “We didn’t use Fresnel lenses because we wanted the light to spill everywhere, like street lights,” Ludes says.


In fact, the existing lights were an important part of his lighting setup, and all the added background lights were gelled with a unique combination of color-correcting acetate filters so their output matched the color temperature of the street lights.


His ultimate goal was to add color and mood that would offer an emotional context for the car (upbeat, youthful, and urban chic). Of equal importance, however, was using lighting to sculpt the car physically: its shaping, line, color, and size. To make it stand out, he lit the car with a whiter light than the warm background, which helped its cool blue color stand out.


As the blue sky and its reflections in the windows hint, this shot was made at dusk. “The challenge for lighting a dusk scene like this is that the lights have to be set up during broad daylight, when you can’t really evaluate their placement and brightness levels,” says Ludes. “Then when the sun goes down, you have to work very quickly to fine-tune the final placement and shoot during that small window when the balance between artificial and daylight is perfect.”


If Ludes had used 2000-watt lights throughout this scene, the resulting exposures would have produced deep, black shadows in the unlit areas, which would have undermined the photographer’s vision for a vibrant, light-filled street scene. “When gels weren’t needed,” says Ludes, “we often used lights as small as 150 watts.”

        如果Ludes在整个现场使用2000瓦的灯进行照明,最终在未被灯光照及的区域可能会产生深黑的阴影,这将破坏摄影师拍摄一个充满活力、洋溢着灯光的街景的构想。Ludes说,“我们经常使用150瓦的小功率灯(这句话前面还有一句是“When gels weren’t needed”,不才本人绞尽脑汁也不明白是什么意思,望高手不吝赐教。译者注)”。

He explains, “One thing people don’t realize about lighting after dark is that very small, dim lights are often preferable to larger, brighter lights. Anything too bright will only cause the shadows to darken.”


Other details? A water truck wet down the street to give life and sheen to those surfaces which otherwise would have been murky, featureless blacks. The photographer’s team also built the foreground sidewalk, so the composition wouldn’t imply that the Honda was stopped in the middle of the street (it was actually parked in front of a driveway).


The final image shown here is a composite of eight different pictures, each framed, lit, and selected for the way it rendered a specific element. Separate exposures were made for the car’s side, wheels, and back, for example. “When the lights sculpted the fender properly, they threw the wheel wells into dark shadow, which necessitated a separate exposure for the tires,” says Ludes.

        最终的照片由8张不同的照片合成,每张照片都针对特定的元素进行构图、打光和选择,例如针对汽车的侧面、后面和轮胎分别进行曝光。“如果打在挡泥板上的灯光合适,那么轮毂槽处就会出现很深的阴影,因此有必要对轮胎进行单独曝光 ”,Ludes说。

Now that’s a production! 


Jeff Ludes lit this scene with four 1,000-watt, four 650-watt, one 2,000- watt, and one 350-watt arri tungsten lights. Those illuminating the human models in the background were softened through Scrim Jim diffusion panels. While the arris threw a warm light, the car was lit by the cooler 8-foot Kino flo daylight fluorescent fixture. Shot with an alpa Max mediumformat camera, phase one p65+ digital back and rodenstock APO Sironar 35mm f/4.5 hr lens.

        摄影师Jeff Ludes拍摄这张照片使用的灯光包括4支1000W、4支650W、1支2000W和1支350W的Arri钨丝灯。背景中人物模特的灯光通过Scrim Jim漫射板进行了柔化。与Arri钨丝灯的暖光不同,打在汽车上的灯光由稍冷色的8英尺Kino flo日光荧光灯提供。拍摄使用的相机是阿尔帕Max中画幅相机,飞思p65+数码后背和Rodenstock APO Sironar 35mm f/4.5 HR镜头.




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