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Lighting For Wrinkles

Skyy McKendry , Dec 13, 2007; 11:08 a.m.

I'm looking for the best fashion-style in-studio lighing set up for someone with a lot of wrinkles. I'm photographing a 70 year-old woman. She's a beautiful woman & was a very successful model in the 50's. I don't mind retouching but it would be nice not to have to retouch so much.


Bruce Cahn , Dec 13, 2007; 12:32 p.m.

I love the wrinkles and emphasize them, but if you do not, use a 6 foot umbrella right over the camera and a reflector underneath.

Skyy McKendry , Dec 13, 2007; 12:37 p.m.

I've tried that but it just seems to empahsize them even more.

Bruce Cahn , Dec 13, 2007; 01:13 p.m.

If they are there they will show. A soft light can only minimize them.

Rand McNatt , Dec 13, 2007; 01:38 p.m.

Any specular highlights will accentuate wrinkles. You need to widen the light sources and lower the lighting ratio: a large, soft key, with fill contiguous or close by on all sides of the key. Think of the soft light of an overcast day. A 50/50 shoot-thru umbrella, with lots of fill provided by the wall behind, could do the trick.

Wrapping a subject in north-light will have a similar effect.

Both dark AND light backgrounds can also bring out wrinkles, oddly enough, by way of the Fresnel effect: skin is highly reflective at low incident angles and you pick up unwanted specular highlights. Try using a more neutral mid-tone background.

Dick Arnold , Dec 13, 2007; 03:07 p.m.

The closer and larger the softbox the softer or more diffused the light. I have had good results by placing such a sofbox close to one side as close as two feet and using another over the camera one stop down from the main. I like old people because I am one. I have photographed some very beautiful women of that age with a few softened wrinkles.

Asher . , Dec 13, 2007; 10:08 p.m.

A touch of over-exposure may help. Also- try a ring flash if you have access to one. It may or may not help.

Ralph Berrett , Dec 14, 2007; 03:55 a.m.

I used an Alien Bee Ringlight with a 56 inch softbox, with to Norman ML600r with 36 inch octogon soft boxes for these shots.

I used a Butterfly lighting aka Paramount lighting set up.

This lighting was really made famous by Paramount Studios with their promo shots of starlets.

The main light is placed directly in front of the face and casts a shadow directly underneath, and in line with, the nose. Butterfly lighting is used most successfully with a normal oval face and is considered a type of glamour lighting especially suitable for women. The straight on defused main light reduces the shadow details of the wrinkles.

Paramount (butterfly) Lighting

Dick Arnold , Dec 14, 2007; 03:27 p.m.

By the way look at the photo in my bio. It was taken with a large, close soft box, a one stop down light over the camera, a backdrop light, hair light off. 75 when it waws taken and I have lots of wrinkles.

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