Urgent advice on makeshift studio needed (clothing photography)

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
jlafferty Senior Member • Posts: 1,433
Re: Urgent advice on makeshift studio needed (clothing photography)

Just for starters, your sources are too small and hard. Your space limitations are going to be a real pain to work with (obvs. you know this, I’m just confirming it - no amount of expertise will overcome this).

Here’s what I’d suggest: put the mannequin right up against the white background, so that you’re lighting it, and the mannequin at the same time/with the same light.

Take your strobe and point it away from the mannequin. In the case of the reflective umbrella, you’ll have the black dome of the umbrella facing the mannequin. I know, it sounds stupid but just hear me out.

Now, the reflective silver part of the umbrella? Have that pointed at a big, white surface - two V flats in a “C” shape will do. If you do this right you’ll see very little shadow. Don’t have V flats? Bounce off the nearest white wall. What you’re trying to do is make a wall, the room, your light source… and the black dome of the umbrella acts as the center deflector plate as if you’re shooting with a giant beauty dish.

If you put diffusion, like a 10x10 silk fabric between the light and the mannequin, the shadow will disappear almost entirely.

If you want to bring out more shape in the dresses, move this entire setup to a 45 degree angle relative to the mannequin - and then, opposite your light source, and right up against the mannequin, place a white reflector as tall as the mannequin is.

In an ideal world you’d be tethered into Capture One to check luminosity readouts at the frame’s edge to confirm that there’s not a lot of fall off.

Lastly, don’t sleep on a little massage in PS. The more recent versions, “Select by Subject” is pretty amazing. If your lighting is 80% there, PS will carry the final 20% pretty easily. And you can set up an action to expedite the process nicely.

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Evocative beats academic.

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