Lighting with V-Fla...

Lighting with V-Flats Part 1 - Flowers  


John Motzi
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 430
October 20, 2019 1:39 pm  

Flowers  DS25223 2007 10 07 v2 Cropped Enlarged 19x21 mat

I thought it might be fun to do a few posts on studio lighting techniques.  

V-Flats are a useful lighting tool.  Just take 2 sheets of white or black (or one of each) foamboard and using gaffers tape, join them such that the tape becomes a hinge.  Now you have a free-standing reflector that can be stored flat and then positioned in a variety of ways by opening like a book.  Cost is minimal.

Shown below is one way to implement.  Here I placed 2 medium size v-flats such that the open ends faced each other surrounding the photographic subject.  I then placed two portable strobes on either side of the subject with the beams pointing into the vertices. A white foamboard "roof" on top of the v-flats is used to further reflect the lighting from the top.  There is an open space at the front and the back.  The space at the front allows the camera to see the subject and the space at the back allows the camera to see the background.

Flowers  DSC4146 2007 10 07 Setup

One of the most important tools for studio lighting is distance.  If we can light the foreground, middle ground and background separately then we have greater control over the resulting image.  In this shot there is no foreground so we just have the subject and the background.  You will notice that the "black" background is actually a white screen and the entire scene was during the day in a non-darkened room.  Because we have a LOT of light on the subject, the white screen in the background goes black.  The flashes overpower the ambient lighting.  If I wanted to, I could place a light on the background and by dialing up the intensity of that light I could make the background anything from black to gray to bright white.  That it is the secret to studio lighting - keeping your lighting layers separate for maximum control.

Flowers  DS25201 2007 10 07
Yellow Calla Montage 2 2