Quick Tip: Light Modifiers For High Key Lighting

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Studio Equipment, Studio Lighting

A solid white background, such as seamless paper is used when shooting high key lighting. This type of shot can also be used against a solid white wall or similar, simple background. The placement and number of lights used are huge factors when trying to achieve the best possible high key lighting photography. Let’s take a look at a sample studio set up to see how shoot using high key lighting. For this sample you will need nine-foot white seamless background paper. A three or four light setup will also be needed. Place two of the lights approximately two to three feet away from the backdrop to highlight and illuminate the background. These lights should be set at a 45-degree angle toward the background. Place the key light, also referred to as the main light, off to one side of the subject at approximately five feet away. This light should also be set at a 45-degree angle to the subject. Set the fill light on the opposite side from the key light at the same distance and angle. Your background lights should be set at least one F-stop over the lighting on the subject. For example, if you are shooting the subject at F/11, set the background lighting at F/16. If you are shooting in a large studio or warehouse, you can place the subject further away from the background, but set the background lighting two or three stops over the subject lighting. When shooting in smaller areas, the use of gobos can help prevent strobe flares on the edge of your subjects. Use a light meter on your subject to produce an overall setting of F/11. The settings of each light will depend upon the types of lights you are using, but the overall setting should be the F/11. A soft box work best in high key lighting setups over other light modifiers. If your studio is narrow, select a shallow soft box. If space is not an issue try experimenting with a Photoflex soft box. There are different makes and models of soft boxes available, in all shapes and sizes, making it possible to find the best one for your photographic needs.

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

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