One Light Glamour: A Basic Lighting Tutorial

It's been awhile since I last posted on this blog. Been caught up with work over the past months, and not to mention working on Geekology 2.0. I did squeeze in some model test shoots in between work. To keep things simple, I only used one light for all chances I got lately.

Though not as complicated as lighting setups used in advertising, it does offer "play time" in terms of emotions, poses and more interaction with the model. 

Having one light shouldn't be a limiting factor in doing beauty and glamour shoots. More often than not, most of the stunning beauty / glamour shoots we get inspiration from were done with one light. One of the key factor is position. This is determined by the light's height and degree of tilt towards the model, and its placement around the model relative to a circle. The other is texture, depending on what kind of accessory you put on that lone light you have. This is either a harsh or soft light, and everything in between. 

When working with one light source, it doesn't mean that it is the only piece of equipment you are limited to. You could still get a "fill" light and "highlight" with the creative use of reflectors to boost or temper down the texture of attachment you used on that light source. 

All the setups were based on the key light position of the Paramount Setup with some creative license of placing it behind the camera.

For the first two samples, I used a Mola beauty dish placed in a boom and hoisted high, but directly behind me. It was higher than the model, and slightly tilted down for that downward shadow cast. To temper down the shadow, I had styrofoam as a reflector placed under the model directly angled to the ceiling. 

The next four had a small strip box and square soft box respectively. Since a soft box provided a more diffused throw, the shadows were softer. 

Both sets utilized the same gray background, but you can change its shade by placing the model closer or farther away from it, and letting the lone key light under expose as you wish. 

Production Credits:

  • Make-up: Ara Fernando / Jet Babas
  • Styling: Model's Own / Raffy Tesoro
  • Models: Chelsea Robato / Karen Lima / Giulia Vaz


Emma Frost: A Concept Revisit

There are some characters that deserve revisits on a regular basis. 

Our first Emma Frost shoot was one of my favorites. It was a shot which hardly had any post production on it and relied pretty much on photography. Everything was shot on-location and the props were all provided. But as we amassed more shoots, Emma was a character which we felt needed to be revisited and added into the upcoming book. We had to shoot something new. 

Elements from the 1st costume were still applicable in the new shoot, which also shaved down some of the cost in producing it. Props from other shoots were also reused into the scene (e.g. candelabras, curtains, and wooden wall). We also thought of paying homage to another Jim Lee Marvel card piece. Of course, we still wanted to inject some personal touch into the final look and feel of the image. 

And so, here's the latest Emma in a larger size for your convenient perusal.

Make-up: Ara Fernando
Styling: Hannah Kim
Costume Production: Badj Galias-Genato
Art Direction: Gelo Lico
Production Design: Raffy Tesoro
Digital Imaging: Ghani Madueno
Model: Lindsey Joy

Special thanks to Lightroom Corp. and Benro (Philippines)


Tokyo: Inspiration City

Tokyo never ceases to inspire me. It's a city that has both feet planted in reality and fantasy. For most Japanese, Tokyo may be a normal place in their daily lives, but for most of us gaijin (foreigner in Japanese), exploring the city is like dreaming while wide awake. Theirs is a culture that has both the structures of a 1st-world city, and yet you get pockets of the outrageous peppered all around. The old is juxtaposed with the new in such a harmonious way, you could feel how they embrace their past at the same time build for a future.

This is my second trip (of perhaps more) to the city. Whatever we missed out during the 1st round, we more or less covered on this one in a more relaxed pace. We were pretty much done with the tourist mandatories, and so a bit more time could be devoted to enjoying the fine details of what the city could offer. Even as simple as hanging out in a Starbucks in Ueno Park proved to be quite a treat.

Since the train system was already familiar to us, it was pretty much easy going to most parts. Day 1 was devoted to all the anime places I didn't get to go the last time.

Yes, I have to take a picture in front of the Gundam RX-78 in Diver City.


DPP 8th Anniversary

I know, I know... it's been awhile since I last wrote something in blog. But in this sunny Sunday afternoon, I finally found the time and stuff to write. So this is my usual pilgrimage to the annual event that unites all photographers by passion and profession in one spot.

The DPP anniversary has become the staple celebration for both hobbyists at heart, and professionals over the years. I had the privilege giving talks since the 3rd anniversary when we were just cramming ourselves in Fully Booked for most of the day. It has then grown into a huge event covering most if not all of Bonifacio High Street. 

People were lined up as early as 6AM to get a hold of the goody bags. It felt like a school fair all over again.

Super thanks to the Philippine XMEN Cosplay Team for hanging out with me during my shoot demo

Me, Mark Dimalanta and Dix hanging out in the VIP booth.

Oh hey! There are still some back issues of our cosplay shoot with Marian!


Model Portfolio: Rima

I had the chance with work with Rima on a print-ad for a mall some time back, and thought she fit the bill for a Great Gatsby concept that was brewing in my head for quite some time already. I called her up and good thing she was game enough for these kinds of shoots.

Make-up: Ara Fernando
Styling: Yuki Tansengco / Hannah Kim
Model: Rima Ostwani

In case you're curious on where we got the backgrounds, they're actually upholstery fabric from places like Shell Canvas. I had them cut and stitched in a manner to make them horizontal rather than just following the original cut of the fabrics. Look for the "ritaso" / surplus sections at the back where they hold sale of fabrics that aren't enough to make an entire sofa set. 

This is the first formation for the Mola. This is a modified setup of a beauty shot, having a background spotlight and soft diffused highlight coming from camera-left of the image. 

As for the next shot, I adjusted the Mola on a higher angle, added one more strip box kicker light on the right.

The last layout was inspired from this image:

Of course I wouldn't exactly want to copy the same image, but get the vibe of it nonetheless.

More behind the scenes, courtesy of Ara: