Showing posts with label hot lights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hot lights. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seeking the Golden Age Lighting

The Golden Age of Movies was, some believe, also the Golden Age of Portrait Photography... when light and shadow craftily shaped the actors appearance. Extensive retouching was also employed on all the images. In the early days large viewfinder cameras were used many producing negatives that were 8x10 inches. For ease of modification the large negatives were employed... the vast amount of touchups required an 8x10 working space.

I decided that with the New Year I would start exploring that golden world. Flash was not used early on but "hot" lights (so named for the intense heat they put out) provided the light for the portraiture. As many of the images were made on or near sound stages on studio lots... plenty of lighting equipment was available as well as sets and props. Wardrobes were extensive and added to the "feel" of the picture.
These shots were all taken with "hot" lights although they are a good deal more compact than their ancestors... also I'm rather limited for the time being in light modifiers.... but that will change. It's interesting to see how movements in the main light and the attitude of the models head and body alter the image.... I also fooled around with digital makeup.... some are a little too much probably.... but it's best to go too far first and then back off. And, since it's digital, nothing is permanent.
Rachel, the victim du jour, is getting married next July. Since I'm photographing her wedding I thought it opportune to use her for my first test shots.
I converted all to black and white as that lends itself to the most intense expression of light and dark.... however the last two shots on this post are the same... with one in color and one in black and white.
Three lights were used.... the main light was a fresnel lensed spot for the face.... two lights in the rear provided light for the hair and separation from the background. Although for many of these shots only two lights were used.

I will next try some full-length shots..... need a fainting couch if anyone has one for sale :)
And will cool it more on the digital makeup....