Hollywood Glamour Lighting Video and Diagrams
I have people wanting to know how I set my lights up and how I get some of the effects I do for Hollywood Glamour and Film Noir Lighting. Most times when I do Hollywood glamour photography I use Fresnel lights, the same type of lights they use in Hollywood on movie sets. In fact I use several very old lights that were probably used on a Hollywood lot somewhere. I have two lights that are from the 1950′s.
When I first started this type of photography I felt I should use the same exact lights to get the same type of effect. I still feel the same as when I started, however I have adapted several strobes to do a similar effect, but it’s still not quite the same. You can get strobe flashes fitted with Fresnel lenses to get the same focusing effect but to me it’s just not quite the same.
The main difference between a Fresnel Lens Hot Light and a strobe, IS the Lens. A Fresnel lens is the same lens used in lighthouses and that long focused beam. A Fresnel Lens has the ability to focus to a hot beam of spotlight or open up and spread out for a wide spray of illuminating fill light. You can also use the edge of the circle of light, called feathering as a fill light or an edge light.
The center of the circle of light is a hot spot, and the edge is a softer feather edge. The Fresnel gives a hard light but also has a creamy soft quality to it. It’s hard to describe but it is something you can see and experience when shooting. A strobe has a hard quality to it with no softness at all with the bare bulb, nor does it have any focusing ability or softness unless you use a modifier. Then even with a modifier it’s too soft, and can’t give a hard edge shadow as the Fresnel can give. The modifier, usually a softbox wraps the light around corners and spreads the light everywhere. You can’t get a good hard edge on the shadow needed for a good paramount lighting under the nose. I will give a couple comparison photos another time but below is a video of a shoot I did with the model Kristabelle. It shows the lighting diagrams and actual shoot we did with Fresnel lights and a shot with a strobe.
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