Lighting for Redhead and Pale Skin

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by ZugPhoto, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. ZugPhoto

    ZugPhoto Member

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    I have a shoot coming up with a model who has red hair and very light skin. My challenge in the past has been trying to keep the face details and shadows without underexposing the rest of the features and clothes. I've moved back the strobes and lowered their power, but that just darkens everything else. Natural light is not an option with this shoot. I use a flash meter and have bracketed my shots. My normal film is Acros 100 using a Mamiya 645e. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Peter
    Inside Exposure
     
  2. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    You know what I have no idea but would any filter work.
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I would try a green or cyan filter if you are shooting black & white. Those would darken the hair, freckles, and reddish skin tones relative to other colors in the scene.

    For either B&W or color, have the model wear lighter clothes and adjust the background distance & lighting relative to this change to balance everything better.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Ortho film with a green filter. The green filter will darken the hair and accentuate the lips, while retaining a creamy skin tone. The standard portrait combo of the thirties and fourties, and into the fifties. For panchromatic, use a light yellow, just to increase contrast a little.

    Rick
     
  5. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    I'd do the opposite---soften the light by moving the strobes EVEN CLOSER than normal and using a broad light source. That will soften the details in the face.
     
  6. ZugPhoto

    ZugPhoto Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for the information. This helps a lot and gives me some options.
     
  7. stm

    stm Member

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    Are you shooting black and white or color?

    If you are shooting black and white, then a green filter is what you need as it renders skin tones more accurately.
     
  8. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I would go the other way with filters - avoid green but try yellow, orange and red - in an effort to reduce the contrast between the red hair and the pale face skin tones.

    Red filters can be a bit extreme but often nude B&W photography is done with a yellow or pale orange filter - it gives the added benefit of reducing the appearance of freckles and spots. Lipstick and eye liner colour need to be considered as you can see some unusual and unwanted results

    Green Filters accentuate skin imperfections - they can give men a rugged look but very few women appreciate such treatment.

    Get your lighting as soft/diffused as possible - to minimise the lightingcontrast ratio in your shots

    If it’s possible to do so, I have always found it useful to look through the camera viewfinder with the lens stopped right down - it accentuates the contrast to much more like the film sees - and with the filter in place you get some sort of idea of what the shot will look like.

    Acros as a film is fine - but you might want to try over-exposing the film by a stop and shorten the development times accordingly (check the film & dev data sheet for details but it is likely to be around 15% less time)

    Good luck and have fun :smile:

    Martin
     
  9. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    This may be heresy, but I think all you really need to do is reduce your development time a bit. Expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights and all that jazz. Here, the model's face is perhaps generating too much density on film, so you can decrease development a bit to compensate, without crushing your shadows. Just a thought...
     
  10. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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  11. ZugPhoto

    ZugPhoto Member

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    Thanks, again, to all! You all are a great resource!
     
  12. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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  13. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Montes forum is still around even though he left us a couple of years ago. There are a few of us who are active and I'm in the boat of receiving help and contribute a kernel or two of wisdom every once in a while. Clay Blackmore participates as well as other photographers that do pretty nice work.

    Check the group out and see if the classical style of people photography may be of interest to you.

    Have a wonderful 2010!
     
  14. Irrev.Rev.

    Irrev.Rev. Subscriber

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    Another 'thank you' for this resource, Bill. A great format; lessons and student critiques!

    Thanks and Best for the New Year from a former Woodbury resident!

    John
     
  15. Josh McElwee

    Josh McElwee Member

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    I'd make sure to expose her skin properly and then light her hair from above, using a soft source rather than a typical hair light.
     
  16. jamesweinn

    jamesweinn Member

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    As I consider photography is the best creative job one can do so please consider me by giving a site that has it's own intensity to teach me some techniques.

    Thanks n regards,
    James.




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