Tue, March 23rd, 2004, 01:43 PM
When most of you guys take your pics I notice that you have the lighting a certain way to bring out your muscles. When I take pics they come out dull, but then I look in the mirror and I see alot better definition. I know you guys know what kind of lighting you use to take your pics so please share it with me so I can benefit from it...thanks
Tue, March 23rd, 2004, 03:10 PM
Here's a document I had at my old site (when I ran Peak Physiques as a company) about photo preparation:
To answer your question about lighting, I hired professionals to take professional photographs! LOL. From the best I can tell, the lighting to bring out muscle definition should come from the same direction as the camera and be up high. This creates contrast above your body. Don't use a flash because that will highlight the crevasses, etc, and wash out the definition. So high light, preferably coming from an angel the same direction as the camera, with no flash should be optimal.
Tue, March 23rd, 2004, 03:48 PM
In photographic terms, probably what you want what is called a "butterfly" lighting pattern. It's named this for the butterfly-wing shaped shadow it creates under the subject's nose, like here (http://home.pacbell.net/bandar00/ninlake.html). This pattern is commonly used to light for models, head shots, etc because it's very flattering while at the same time still open enough to see all the details. I would assume it works exactly the same for lighting muscle.
Ideally you want one very large bright light, and as Jeremy said you essentially want it up high, directly above the camera. If it's high and to one side or the other of the camera you won't get the same effect. (Shadows will fall differently). You (or your subject) should then be directly in front of the camera, facing it. Turned slightly is obviously okay.
That is the ideal setup, for it to look natural you want a single large light source to emulate the sun. Unfortunately many of us don't have access to a light source large enough to light us from head to toe, that we can somehow place high above the camera. For the after shot in this thread (http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?t=2195) I had to use multiple light sources.... that's obvious by the fact that I'm casting multiple shadows. But it worked for my purposes.
Main things are, try to light yourself from high up and straight on (not off to one side), with enough light, and have the light cast evenly from head to toe. This should produce the results you want.
Tue, March 23rd, 2004, 03:57 PM
Hard light coming in at a steep angle also helps bring out surface detail.
OK... What is hard light?
Hard light is a point light source like a lightbulb or camera flash or the sun on a cloudless day. Just arrange the light so it is raking steeply across the texture that you want to accentuate and it will bring out nice contrasty shadows.
If you want to smooth things out (you don't here) use a soft box or shoot on a cloudy day or blast your subject with on camera flash.
Try using windowlight from an eastward facing windown in the morning or westward in the evening... Stand so the window is at your side and the light is streaming in across your washboard abs. :-)