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Tips & Tricks

FEATHERING YOUR LIGHTING:

When working with VINYL material and you choose a DARKER-colored design - you may experience reflection if you do not feather your lighting properly. 

Below you'll find videos and diagrams to help you learn the techniques to 'feather' your light source properly.  Once you see how easy these techniques are you will be on your way to creating fantastic portraits!

Straight from one of our best customers.... "Feathering Your Lighting"
by Stacy's Creations Photography:


The final results from the video:


Another example:




THE FOLLOWING IS COPIED DIRECTLY FROM http://studiostyles.net/:

{START QUOTE} "I have noticed that many new photographers tend to aim their main light source (this could be an umbrella, a softbox, etc) directly at the subject. While this will definitely light the subject, its certainly not the most flattering way to use your light source. In this post, I would like to introduce you to an idea called feathering the main light.  

By nature, your light source is typically brighter in the center and tends to fall off toward the edges. Therefore, by aiming your light source directly at the subject, it tends to create more specular highlights and can produce hot spots or can cause the highlights to become overexposed.


 

So next time, instead of just aiming the light right at your subject, try feathering the light. By this I simply mean to direct the light in front of your subject. You should be working with the edge of your light source and not the center of the light source. I will typically turn my soft box horizontally and have most of the light pass in from of the subject, and just work with the light from the back edge of my soft box. By working with the feathered position of the main light, it gives me a softer, more flattering light on my subject.

Not only is feathering the light much more flattering for my subjects, but it allows me to easily work with a reflector as my fill light by reflecting the light passing in front of the subject into the shadow side of the subject. When working with a large soft box and feathering, this box acts as both the main light and the fill light ( a term referred to as wrap-around lighting). It also helps keep stray light off the background so I can control the brightness of the background through the use of a background light.

Incorrect main light: http://studiostyles.net/imgvault/IncorrectMainLight.jp / Feathering main light: http://studiostyles.net/imgvault/FeatheringMainLight.jp {END QUOTE}



More feathering examples here from Zach Arias:

http://www.zarias.com/shoot-through-umbrella-vs-softbox/



Additional info taken from Shutterbug.com:

Feather The Main

{START QUOTE} There are a couple of reasons for this. First, by this point you can see that each light has its job to do and you want them to act in harmony, as opposed to defeating each other. By feathering the main light, you allow light to strike the subject but not the background, which you want to control independently. (The term "feathering" means you turn your main light toward the camera until just the front edge of the light hits your subject.) 

But there is another vital reason. By using just the front edge of the light to strike your subject, the rest of the light is acting as a "form fill." The light coming from the opposite side of your main light is helping to fill in shadows and create a smooth transition from highlight to shadow area. How much depends on the relative size of the light in relation to your subject. Many photographers use 6-foot long and larger softboxes up close to their subjects. By feathering a light that size, the one light is both the main and fill, so no additional fill light is needed. Smaller light sources will create sharper shadows--you need to do your own testing to see what suits your style. {END QUOTE}



QUICK/ROUGH example of "Grunge 107" with feathered studio lighting.  Absolutely NO reflection on one of our darkest drops:


ROUGH diagram illustrating "FEATHERING" light:


Absolutely NO reflection from the light on this dark drop:




Other Tips/Tricks:

Want to make one wood floor drop into a floor and a wall?

This is the best method to take for realism.  Purchase an inexpensive piece of floor trip at your local Home Depot or Lowes or one of our specialty ones here https://ppfb.bigcartel.com/ and set it up like this.




For additional "Behind the Scenes" images visit our Facebook page  HERE