beauty lighting

Whenever I have the term “beauty lighting” in one of my posts, I seem to get a lot of hits. So, we’ll use it in the title, again.  These images are from a shoot with Gabrielle, a grad student in civil engineering and also a swimmer and triathlete.  The picture above is lit mostly from the back, with the light wrapping around the face, plus another light in front aiming down at about a 45 degree angle.  Also, Gabrielle held a reflector just under her chin, further softening the light.  Faithful readers will recall this lighting setup as the “Oil of Olay” look.

The image above uses the same lighting setup and was converted to black and white in a special program that adds grain to mimic a classic black and white film effect.   In the first few years of digital photography, many photographers said they wold never convert to digital because you couldn’t achieve the look of film.  While there are still a few holdouts, that argument just doesn’t hold water anymore. In fact, with the program I used for this image (Nik Silver Efex Pro) you can replicate the look and feel of some classic black and white films that are no longer made.

Here’s a more traditional headshot look.  I like the idea that Gabrielle is looking up – this can imply optimism and joy (the open smile helps too!).  Looking up also helps to emphasize her beautiful blue eyes.

As mentioned, Gabrielle is a competitive swimmer. In the photo below, she’s in her starting position. She’s wearing a suit that is so fast it’s been ruled illegal for competition. 

As always, any comments or questions are welcome.


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December 2010
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