Another Special Lighting Technique


William Lulow

This is a studio shot I did a while ago. I used a black no-seam background into which I cut a hole just about the size of one of my lights. I became fascinated with the beams produced from small light sources when they were placed behind the subject. As the subject blocks part of the light, rays are produced which emanate from the edges of the subject. Here is an example:


In order to preserve the “ray” effect of the light, the main light had to be kept soft and about two stops less than the back light. As the model moved, different effects became visible and the “rays” would change. I also used a fog machine to simulate the effect of rays of light coming from the fog. These kinds of machines just need to provide the smallest amount of fog. You don’t want the fog to obscure the image, so you often must wait for it do dissipate slightly after the smoke is produced. It’s the same thing with fans. Sometimes, all you need is for the fan to blow slightly to create the effect of movement. Same with smoke. More often than not, just a hint of the smoke will do the trick.