Zhiyi had been having a lot of cravings for durians lately, so being the ever considerate husband, I went out of my way before a movie today to surprise her with a box of durian mochis from 4 Seasons Bakery, only to be told that the smell now made her nauseous.
Plus, mochis (Japanese ice cream-like paste) melt.
I ended up eating almost the whole box before the movie started and easily surpassed my yearly durian quota in one shot (which isn’t much to begin with considering that I don’t like durians!). Lesson learnt – food cravings are like mood swings – they come and go when you least expect. 😛
Anyway, I also did a simple photoshoot with Zhiyi today and we went for the simple high-key look in the style of Japanese hair/makeup/jewelry ads. Of course, Japanese tend to be a lot fairer, and with the right amount of makeup, really look snow white in photos. Still, I like how the shot turned out with Zhiyi’s beautiful eyes, luscious hair and healthy glow. Isn’t motherhood great!
And here is the lighting setup (classical beauty lighting):
- Be creative with backgrounds, i.e. don’t always use paper or cloth. In fact, softboxes can double up as backgrounds too, albeit more suitable for high key photography.
- For the most effective exposure, use an incident meter to measure the light hitting the front of the face and the back of the hair. The lighting ratio should be 1:1. I made a mistake in this shot and the background light was actually under by more than a stop which explains the slightly greyish tint.
- As the subject was very close to the background softbox, wraparound light becomes a serious problem. If I had a bigger studio, I would’ve preferred that Zhiyi be at least 3m from the softbox so that even if it were powered up more, there wouldn’t be much wraparound light contaminating the main light’s exposure.
- In classical beauty lighting, a single huge softbox is placed almost right in front of the subject and facing downwards to produce an almost flat lighting with no harsh shadows. This set up also produced very nice catchlights (the bright spots you see in the subject’s eyes that make the eyes come alive!).
- Usage of a reflector to fill in shadows under the chin and nose is highly recommended.
- I used a 3-stop neutral density filter to allow me to shoot at F/4 in order to get a shallower depth of field. Without an NDF, I would have had to shoot at F/11 (F/4 -> F/5.6 -> F/8 -> F/11, i.e. 3-stops higher) which would have made everything in focus.