Lighting tips to emphasize muscle definition

Started Oct 22, 2012 | Questions thread
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EXDS
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Lighting tips to emphasize muscle definition
Oct 22, 2012

I've been shooting a few fitness themed shots recently and was wondering if anyone had any good tips on sculpting light to emphasize muscle definition (lighting positions to try, light modifiers, etc).  I'm also open to suggestions on improvements made in post as well (although that might be better suited to the Retouching forums).

I've experimented a bit with my three speedlights in the shots below.  I'm fairly happy with the end result but I'm sure my setup isn't ideal and I'm curious with what others have had success with.  Would a beauty dish be a useful modifier for this?  I'm thinking about buying an Einstein and a beauty dish + grid (not solely for this purpose though).

#1 has on camera flash bounced above subject, 2nd light bare camera left for rim, 3rd light bare camera right for rim. Minor dodging and burning in LR3.

#2 has 1st light in 24" softbox close above subject's arm, 2nd light gridded camera left, 3rd light bare below subject's arm aimed straight up. Minor dodging and burning in LR3.

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