It’s cold outside, yet a fireplace warms the room and the sexy lingerie on our Playmate’s curves works up the heat even more…
The soft glow I created in these photographs puts the viewer in a position to almost feel the warmth of the crackling fire.
The model’s luminescent skin is softly lit and combined with her peaceful expression it allows the viewer to sense the warmth of her body and the coziness of this setting. The contrast of her smooth, amber skin against the cold, dark background of the hearth accentuates this feeling as well.
A flowing, dynamic element is present caused by the slightly tilted angle of the frame which engages the viewer’s eye.
Though the model is the central focus of these images, I believe that the setting, lighting, and posing of the model are all equally vital for these images to successfully deliver a message.
Deconstructing my 2-Light Setup
I shot the scene with just 2 flash heads. But more important is the fire’s light itself. Without the atmospheric glow the imagery would be hard, cold and very unattractive.
The most significant at this set was to keep up the warm ambiance. Meaning to maintain the firelight and the mood related to it.
Key Light: The key light’s power is kept relatively low. I chose a standard reflector because of the small diameter. I am almost never shooting with this modifier towards the model as the light created is very harsh. The light quality does not really fit a glamourous approach – at least not on faces.
But on this set, I had no other chance: A beauty dish’s diameter respective beam would be too wide; the lightened area would be too big and therefore lead to the elimination of the fireplace’s atmosphere.
In order to narrow (and specifically control) the beam, I applied a grid.
Hair Light: In this case, the hair light serves the purpose of a rim light and gives the hair and upper arm section a beautiful soft glow while separating these parts more distinctively from the background.
Key Factor Fire Place Light: Important “Detail”!
For an overall atmosphere boost I have “dragged the shutter”, meaning: I have slowed the shutter speed down to 1/15 sec. This lengthened exposure time allows for more ambient light (fire-dance light) to come in. The general ambient light was very low (nearly dark) so there was no danger of shaky images with this slow exposure. The flashes froze everything.
Additionally, I increased the ISO value to 400 to let even more warm light immerse.
Posing: Only Meaningful in Combination with Composition
It was the first time I worked with Playmate Coxy Dominika in a real photo shoot. We did some workshops together before but never had a full-fledged shoot. So I knew how great she’s in posing but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted her to do in the front of this fireplace. I knew I needed some very alluring lingerie shots but also more revealing nude poses…
There was absolutely no furniture available at the location (old castle) I had chosen for this shoot. No chair, no couch, no nothing. This made it harder to create a flawless kind of “story”.
We both then decided to go with an ordinary striptease while standing up and working with her curves & lines (S-poses) against the visual straight lines presented by the room. On top of that, I shot half of the series with the “Dutch Angle”-approach and I personally like the outcome a lot. I know that tilting the camera always sparks huge discussion – but I just don’t care. No guts, no glory.
With the creation of additional material in mind, Dominika convinced me to adapt the light in order to shoot a few kneeling images, with her upper body closer to the fire’s light.
The creation process was worth every tweak, enhancement and rejection! Did I already mention that I like the final series very much?!
Behind the Scenes
- Key: 1x 400 Ws Monobloc @ 100Ws with standard reflector & 20 degree honeycomb
- Hair: 1x 400 Ws Monobloc @ 250Ws snoot
- Nikon D700 (full frame)
- 85mm @f/7.1
- 80-300mm @ ~135mm @f7.1
- ISO 400
Dramatic Lighting with Playboy Centerfold Coxy Dominika
Lighting Blueprint. Composing drama light does not mean to create dusky sceneries but rather working with well-chosen light areas and corresponding accents. Expect sexy lascivious, dark shadows, round forms, red lips, and 5 sets of sensual, seducing emotions!
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