In my last post entitled Corporate Photographers, I touched on the subject of lighting. Here I figured I could expand a little on how I use lighting to create Corporate Photography. After all, it is this element that is the basis of photography, and I believe the element that makes you stand out from the crowd.
To begin, let me say that in my experience as a Sydney Professional Photographer I have encountered many different lighting situations, from shooting outdoors directly into the sun, to mixed interior lighting and low light photography. Each have their difficulties, but there is always a solution. Now, let’s get specific with this corporate photograph taken by NBPD (us) in Brisbane recently.When we first got to this location it was a low light room. My first thought is always, what light is here already (ambient light)? In this case there was overhead fluro lights (not ideal), and a small amount of subsidiary window lighting coming from behind camera. Unfortunately it was not possible to turn off the fluro lighting so I had to overpower it instead.
My second thought is then thinking about the background. I wanted this to be slightly above mid tone so the overall tone of the photograph is light. To do this I placed a light far back in the room and camera right bounced off a white ceiling. I chose to bounce off the white ceiling so the light reflects powerfully and in the correct colour. Placing a big light source here I need to make sure I get no reflections too. For those of you familiar with studio lighting, this would be considered my fill light.
Now that we have a nice overall base light, I need to ensure my camera setting will still render the computer monitors with vibrant colours. If it is overexposed, they will appear white and washed out. My settings were f5.6 @ 85mm focal length (gives me 74 cm depth of field – enough to get both people in focus yet the foreground and background slightly softer) and shutter speed 1/125 second (enough so there is no camera shake) and ISO 320 (low enough to ensure no noise).
So to this point we have
1. Ambient light (fluro overheads + residual window lights)
2. Fill light reflected off the ceiling
But it is still fairly flat lighting. So time to add the real interest…
Next is our key/main light. I wanted this light to be isolated to the main subject which is the blond-haired girl. I know she is going to stand out more because she has blond hair and a white top on a caramel background. So I placed a small speedlight bouncing into the monitor she is looking at, and stuck white paper on it to ensure it bounced the right amount of light on her face. You can see that the light was angled to ensure she gets the majority of light, and the girl in the blue top gets less light. You can also see that this light is more powerful than any other light to date, so the eye will want to rest on the brightest part of the photograph. This is what we want. At this point it is a good photograph, but we can do more to make it better.
Next is the final kiss of light from behind called an accent light or kicker. A small light was placed behind and out of sight the girl in the blue top to create nice highlights in her hair, just that extra little bit of brightness. And there is the final product, an image that is considered with punch created from great lighting.
Photographer | Blogger