The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller's technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn's post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn't have. So I went about using this technique using only a speedlite and a v-flat.
The v-flat I used for this shot was around 5 feet tall, with a 4x4” hole cut in middle of the seam for my camera lens. I had my speedlite on a stand, about two feet higher than my subject, aimed over her shoulder. I zoomed the flash head in to 105mm. I had the model sit 6-12 inches away from the lens, in order to get the maximum amount of bounce light off the white board. The lens I was using was a Canon 35mm f/1.4L, which allowed me to be close enough to pick up the catch light, while also getting a bit of fall-off in focus with the wide aperture.
This was my first attempt at this technique. Though I am happy with the result, it doesn't look like a Schoeller. For my second attempt, I will try adding a second light to get more catch light. I'll also try flagging the strobes to restrict the lighting to just the model's face.
This lesson as well as 25 other lighting diagrams are available in my new e-book, RGLR, The Run & Gun Lighting Resource for $10.