Need some help with 2 light setup

Neil Williams
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I took this picture last week and had a lot of great feedback regarding my second light position
Last week


I had a beauty dish and 5' strip box in front of Fon at about 45 degrees shot on TTL with both lights at the same power (feedback not a good idea)

Yesterday I tried these two shots with this set up...........I was trying to do like a clam shell effect but there wasn't enough room to put the strip box on the floor looking up so I put the Profoto B1 head in a bucket on the floor without a modifier and had that on the lowest setting of 2.0 pointing up at Fon at about a 39 degrees angle (I really need to buy a floor stand for that second light and also a small modifier to use on it as a fill light "any recommendations ?}
Anyway below are my attempts with that set up..........I'm very lucky that Fon is patient with my faffing about, but we have fun doing it

Set up yesterday see the light in the bucket lol

two shots yesterday using ZF and my 1970s Nikkor 55mm F1.2 pre AI shot at 1/200 F8 ISO 100

I've already given you my own views in your other thread but posting your question here, with background info and a shot showing your lighting setup, is really helpful.

You previously described your second light at a "fill light" but it turns out to be clamshell lighting, which makes a big difference.

Clamshell lighting normally involves two identical or at least very similar light sources set to deliver the same or very similar level of power (although of course different distances and different modifiers is likely to mean that they are set to output at different settings.

Also, clamshell lighting usually looks best with one light directly above and the other directly below the lit part of the subject, not off at different sides.

A fill light, however, has an entirely different function and, if needed at all, should be only just bright enough to deal with any unacceptable shadow levels created by the key light, which is why I advised you, if you felt that there is a need for a fill light, that you should start off with it at minimum setting.

I fully accept that you don't have two beauty dishes, and probably don't even have space for them, but a small, hard-light source that's much too far away doesn't really work that well. If you can't use a second beauty dish perhaps you can use some kind of softbox?

I also suggested that this should be a head and shoulders or torso shot, that of course is your personal choice (as is having your model smiling, which really doesn't suit beauty dish or most other lighting) but showing less of your subject would give you much more space for your second light, and would allow you to place it higher, which would also make it closer, and softer.

There's nothing wrong with using a bucket, I've used all sorts of things, the "wrong" tool may slow the process down but it doesn't affect the quality.

This (IMO) is the perfect low-level stand it's exclusive to this supplier but broadly similar products are also available elsewhere.

General view - room for improvement but your lighting has improved dramatically, keep trying, keep posting and you'll get there:)
Garry I've just ordered myself the Zhiyun M20C 20W LCD light to use as a hair light...........whats the best position for this, directly behind the models head (out of sight ) or off to the left or right of the models head i.e. 90 degrees to the camera?..........Thanks for taking the time to give me your advice in your reply earlier.

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Busy right now, will reply in full later -but can you cancel that order and get a flash instead? Mixing a low-powered LED light that cannot be modified in any way with high-powered flash just doesn't make sense.
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These lighting panels are made for home video, and they're OK for that (although studio-type LED lights are much better, with more power and, more to the point, with the ability to fit modifiers). The panel lights are cheap and popular, but a very poor choice for still photography.

They are made and sold in quantity because the world of flash is now dominated by just one manufacturer, nearly all of their competitors are unable to compete, so they have switched to these panel lights, which use bought-in technology (making them all pretty much the same despite the seller claims) and they aren't up to the job.

So, my advice is to cancel the order if you can, and if you can't just send it back.

Moving on, almost any kind of flash will do the job but, as always, a studio flash that has a modelling lamp will be easier to use.

The answer to your positioning question is that you put it anywhere you like, each different position will produce a different result, so it's your choice.

If your model is moving around a bit, a good position is probably above and a bit behind her head,, fit the flash with a silver-finish umbrella, but have it just half-open (and keep it in that position with a clothes peg. The half-open position will stop the light from spreading too much and will also produce uneven light, which is generally a good thing for a hair light.

If you want a more controlled light then use a honeycomb (or grid in the American version of English), so that you can light just a small part of the hair if you want to, but be aware that any movement of the head will mean that you need to move the light. My personal choice is usually a 10 degree one, although 20 degree is also OK, anything bigger than that has very limited efficacy.

And again, if using a honeycomb, you could position it off to one side, to light just a part of her hair, The only real rule is that there are no rules, you just need to experiment.

You also need to experiment with power. Sometimes, the slightest hint of a hairlight (that a non-photographer won't even notice) is perfect, but you can also try some very high-powered and dramatic lighting effects, again there are no rules.