How To: Lighting My Dirt Series Photographs

Posted on November 22, 2014

 DIRT is a persona project I worked on a few months ago that features models Sterling and Geovanny.
Below is a break down on the lighting equipment used to get the look you see below in the final images.


photography lighting tips and diagrams  sergio garcia studios


A total of three Alien Bees B800’s were used for this series:


• main light with the 7″ reflector + 40˚ grid set at full power

• fill light with the 7″ reflector + 30˚ grid set at 1/2 power

• hair light with the 7″ reflector + 10˚ grid set at 1/4 power


photography lighting tips and diagrams  sergio garcia studios

a) The main light was placed in front of my camera, positioned about a foot in front and slightly above the models face pointing downward to create what is known as the “butterfly lighting”.


b) The fill light was placed camera right and positioned down low (below models chest) about 2 feet and pointed upward towards their face. You can see the catchlight to the lower right of the models pupils in the images. You typically wouldn’t place the light this low as it can create a spooky effect, but for the dramatic look I was going for, it works. On top of that it also added a subtle fill to the face.


c) The final light was placed on a boom and positioned behind and above the models head (about a foot) for a hair light but also added a nice rim light to their shoulders depending on how and where they moved.


d) Keep in mind that the lights were not used as strobes, they were used as ambient light only. This is why the distance from the lights and the models was pretty close. I’ve done this same set-up before but used the lights as strobes and the effect was not the same. You will get a deep orange color cast using this method so be prepared to color-correct in post (I use LR).


photography lighting tips and diagrams  sergio garcia studios


The images were photographed with my Nikon D600 and the Nikkor 85mm 1.8 @ 500iso | 1/160s | f/2


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