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Question on how to create a strong but soft backlit look


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#1 PeterJacobsen

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:35 AM

I would like to create a look similar to the photos below from a Dior ad campaign. I like the way these photos are heavily backlit and soft. Whenever I use a lot of backlight, the light is much too hard even though I'm using softboxes. Obviously I can cut the light down, but then I lose the heavy backlight effect. In essence, I want to soften the backlight but retain its intensity. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to go about achieving this effect. Thanks!
dior_1.jpg dior_2.jpg dior_3.jpg
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:31 AM

Hair tends to look frizzy when backlit (hence why virtually all hair commercials are front lit), but if the source is big enough then it can look good. It's a bit like cars - you reflect a big source into your subject, rather than light it directly. These images are also heavily doctored in photoshop - I'm betting the 'blown out' background is more done after the fact than in camera.

Get a butterfly and do a wedge-light so it's soft and nice (or just bounce). As you can see in the first photo, the light is actually more a side-light rather than a backlight. The other two images have more of a 3/4 backlight (and as a result, the hair gets frizzier).
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#3 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:54 AM

I would like to create a look similar to the photos below from a Dior ad campaign.


I think, they use super soft lenses, or lenses with soft front filter or lens with rear soft adapter.
This can be lens with special optical scheme similar of monocle, single eye-glass.
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#4 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:37 AM

I agree with Adam. All the pictures look they are side lit. They probally used to soft sources on both sides and maybe a bounce in front of her face. But I strongly believe most of that was done in photoshop. A friend of mine did the exact same thing in photoshop.
Hope this Helps
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:23 AM

i use tow cross back for situation like this so i have the back is more rapping like soft light or kinos but you have to be careful not to touch the nose
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#6 Bob Hayes

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:56 AM

I?ve gotten into bouncing my back lights. I?ll use a 3?x3? foam core bounce with a medium soft Rosco bounce material on it. Bu arming it out and hitting it with a bight spotty light I get a back light that wraps, is controllable, and is very light weight.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:58 AM

If you want a bigger, softer, brighter backlight then you just need to make one -- bigger frame of diffusion, bigger light behind it. The trick is getting it behind the talent without seeing the rig. You could, for example, angle a 12'x12' frame on high-rollers behind someone, angled-down at 45 degrees, so that the stands are off-camera on each side of the frame. Then bounce a really bright light into the 12'x12' frame (of whatever, Griflon, UltraBounce, etc.)

If the backlight isn't soft enough for you, it's because either your diffusion isn't large enough or it isn't close enough to the subject, and if it isn't bright enough, it's because you aren't using a big enough light.

Some people will put a row of white card, bounceboards, etc. along the top of a backwall and then bonce light into those. Or put a row of softlights like 2K Zips in a row to create a bright line of light behind the person's head, above frame.
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#8 Bob Hayes

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:18 AM

I?ve gotten into bouncing my back lights. I?ll use a 3?x3? foam core bounce with a medium soft Rosco bounce material on it. Bu arming it out and hitting it with a bight spotty light I get a back light that wraps, is controllable, and is very light weight.
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