How to Add Atmospheric Light to Lingerie Photography
When I captured this shot in the studio, I was happy with how it looked. But I’m a perfectionist, as you know! And when I came back to it later, I wished I’d made the lighting a bit more atmospheric.
Building the set
Though that may look like an authentic Parisian apartment located just down the boulevard from the Moulin Rouge, it is in fact a set built from scratch in our studio.
Once the model was on set and styled for the shoot, we experimented with a few different arrangements.
Lighting the shot
As you can see in the lighting diagram below, I used two different light sources for this shot. The main light was a Flooter – a large Fresnel-style lamp that focuses light into a nice tight beam while also feathering it at the edges. In this shot, it casts a beautiful hard light, producing well-defined shadows.
The other light source was a standard P70 reflector with a tight honeycomb grid. I used this to cast a small spot of light onto the cabinet while creating a natural darkness at the left edge of the frame.
Creating the dappled light in post
Working on the image in Photoshop, I decided to add some dappled light, hoping to create an authentic feeling of sunlight coming in through net curtains.
To do this, I created a new layer, then added smears of white paint on top of the black mask. I then added Gaussian blur, smudging and stretching the patches of ‘light’ for a randomised dappled look.
The final result
This shoot was another instance of careful pre-visualization and on-set spontaneity combining with creative post-production to generate a striking final result.
Without dappled light post-production
Using dappled light Photoshop mask