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  1. #1
    ZugPhoto's Avatar
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    Lighting for Redhead and Pale Skin

    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. #2
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    You know what I have no idea but would any filter work.

  3. #3
    smieglitz's Avatar
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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. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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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

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    Tom Nutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZugPhoto View Post
    I've moved back the strobes and lowered their power, but that just darkens everything else.

    Inside Exposure
    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. #6
    ZugPhoto's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone, for the information. This helps a lot and gives me some options.
    Peter Abzug
    Inside Exposure

  7. #7
    stm
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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.
    They say digital has it's place, I just haven't found it yet!

  8. #8
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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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

    Martin

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZugPhoto View Post
    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.
    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...
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  10. #10
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    Thought I'd offer these ideas to help:
    http://forum.montezucker.com/index.p...T&f=11&t=8344&

    http://forum.montezucker.com/index.p...ST&f=11&t=971&

    Monte Zucker was my friend, mentor & coach.

    He was constantly prodding us to practice, practice, practice!

    Here is Monte's mentor:

    http://jzportraits.home.att.net/

    It's all about controlling light and making light patterns which flatter the subject.

    Hope this may help you.
    Bill Clark

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