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I was recently asked by a friend of my daughter if I could shoot some portraits of her. She had recently had her hair coloured and she asked if it would be possible to emphasize her hair during the shoot.
During a recent eseminar organised by the Manfrotto School of Excellence photographer John Ricard explained how he lights models when the hair is of particular importance to his client. To emphasize the models hair Jon uses a hair light which is basically a light specifically aimed at the hair and balanced against the other lights on the subject.
Taking this idea I decided to try something similar. To light Becki’s face I set up a soft box about 1.5m from her and dropped its power down to 1/2 . For the hair light I set up a strobe with a set of barn doors and dropped the power down to ¼ (shown below) .
In practice I found that this setting was far too bright and put far too much light onto her. I adjusted the position of the light and moved it away from her hair but that spread the light a little too much. I managed to resolve the situation by putting a diffuser in front of the hair light and closed the barn doors in tight.
It took about 10 trial shots to get the lights and the exposure balanced before we set about starting the session.
In all I took 135 images of Becki from which she chose about 60. An example of the images I shot using this lighting set-up are shown below.
My thanks to Becki for her patience and for giving her permission to include them on this blog.