This set-up is new to us. It is an oft-used style, but has never really appealed to us on paper, and so we have not used it (so much for experimenting to see what you like!). This is called clam shell lighting. We set it up for these tutorials, and have to admit that we quite liked the results and so may use it in future.
The basic idea is that you have two lights – one above and one below. This gives it the name “clam shell”, as the lighting envelopes the model from above and below and she becomes the “clam”, stuck in the middle. In this example, we used two strip diffusers as our light modifiers and put one at a height of approximately 2 feet above the model’s head, and the other about knee level. Both lights are shining at the model’s face.
Again, look at the catchlights in the eye. You will see the reflections in the top and bottom of the iris, which gives us a clue as to the setup. The theory of this is quite good – we normally see things with one light above the head of the subject (the sun), and so this re-creates that light while, at the same time, adding a low level light to remove unwanted shadows caused by the harsh artificial light.
We hope that you have enjoyed this brief and very basic instruction on studio lighting. In the next, and last, instalment, we shall briefly discuss the thorny subject of image editing. Many thanks to our model, Jacci, who posed (almost) without complaining for several hours, drank our coffee and ate our biscuits, while we toiled with moving lights and changing flash heads and diffusers.