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Over & Under Lighting

I was doing a recent glamor shoot and changed up the lighting to something frontal and flatter. I started out with loop lighting and frontal fill, but, in looking at some magazine ads, I decided that I liked a flatter look, almost as if from a beauty dish.

I ended up using what I’ve seen referred to as “over & under” lighting – a variation on “clamshell” lighting. The lighting diagram illustrates it:

To get a broader light source than my beauty dish, I used the Deep Octa and a Quadra A head, but without the outer baffle. I really like this combination. Under it I placed a large octa a stop under. This gave me fill and lit the entire body, but still ratio’d such that the torso and face received slightly more light than the rest of the body.

These are the resulting shots:

I have also realized that I like shooting at f/5.6 rather than my more typical f/8 or f/11. I like the falloff better. It’s a good compromise between the sharpness of the smaller apertures and the ability to make ears, shoulders, and hair slightly softer


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