As I mentioned towards the end of the first setup from the previous page, when we removed the table & lamp, we lost the fill light, and Jessica's side that was opposite the main light fell into shadow and disappeared into the shadows of the background. And as I mentioned, I don't like these kinds of images. So, we corrected this. We removed the funky chair from the image, and added an extra strobe to replace the fill light. The result: some beautiful lighting for a beautiful model. For the rest of the day of exposing film, we used variations on this lighting.
I've always found it challenging to devise a lighting scheme that compliments both figure & face. But here's two good examples of why I like this lighting: first the image on the left -- I do like shadowy pictures, I just don't like it when shadows disappear into shadows. With the fill light in place, there's still lots of shadows, but Jessica's figure is well defined. I also like that you can see a lot but you can't see everything -- that way your imagination has to fill in the blanks. Finally, I don't mind that her eyes are hidden in shadow -- you can still see enough of her expression. Now, the image of the right: I like how Jessica's left eye pops out of shadow, and with her hands more to her sides, you can see her muscle tone really well, especially with this light, because the shadows define her shape. In retrospect, the hair light is a bit much -- it could have been toned down a bit, and it could have been moved further back (to keep it off of her shoulders), but overall, I don't mind that much. I really like the images from this setup.
Here above is one of my favorite images from this sitting and my favorite from this setup. I mentioned that Jessica fidgets, and when she got herself into this pose, with her hips cocked & her shoulders skewed, I had to ask her to freeze. My experience is that when you ask a model to freeze, they rarely do or they freeze too late, but it worked out well in this case. This was one of those rare circumstances when I knew, just knew, that I've made a superior image right there in the sitting -- usually, I have to wait & see what develops (literally).
More images from this setup.
photographers go into their sitting with a specific image in mind, and
all they do is produce that one image. Some day, I can see myself
doing that. But my approach is that I have a handful of setups
(setup = lighting + poses + props + backgrounds) in
mind, and within the context of each setup, we experiment, trying
different variations until we get a match.
Eventually, I get the feeling that we are not making further progress within a specific setup, and at that time, I ask myself whether there's anything else we should try before we move on. If the answer is "no", then the model gets to take a short break while I make changes to the setup.