Lighting techniques

with Andrea Belluso

Andrea Belluso on the art of lighting

Andrea Belluso, also known as ‘The Light Shaper,’ takes us behind the scenes
on an exclusive fashion photo shoot and shares the details of the lighting
techniques he uses. Learn about the tools used, from lighting equipment to
lenses, and see the direct results of his techniques in the featured photographs.

Mixing hard and soft light

Technique no.1

The best way to bring out detail with lighting is to use hard light.
This is because a hard light creates more contrast. The Fresnel Spot is a great light shaping tool, focusing light through the Fresnel lens that also provides a beautiful skin quality and tonal depth. The Softboxes are used alongside the key light to separate the subjects from the background in this low-key photograph.


Autofocus & Recompose (AFR) with zoom to focus

Alongside AFr, the Zoom to Focus preview mode
on the IQ Digital Back will automatically zoom
the preview to the original location where you
confirmed your focus. This provides visual feedback
for you to verify your intended focus point, ensuring
you can get the perfect image sharpness exactly
where you need it.

Very soft light with no shadows

Technique no.2

Using two 4×6 Softboxes placed on both sides of the camera, we
create a very soft light that eliminates shadows both from the models
and the background. This is a very simple set-up for a clean light with
no hard shadows. The soft lighting is great for featuring the soft and
elegant strength of the skin tone, allowing the more saturated color
features to really stand out.


Profoto Air tool

With such a simple lighting setup, it’s important to
get everything perfectly balanced. The two lights
on either side of the camera need to be perfectly
balanced and, if it’s necessary to turn them up
or down slightly, it must be done in tandem. The
Profoto Air allows Andrea to quickly and simply
fine-tune this output without ever stepping away
from the camera.

“Tethering directly into Capture One puts me in total control.”

– Andrea Belluso, Portrait Photographer

Multiple light set-up for drama and color in low-key

Technique no.3

This is a multiple-light, low-key set-up to create drama. It includes studio
generators as well as monolights and off-camera flash to create colors and
shadows in a very creative and extremely intuitive way.
The set-up is created and the light molded once the models are on set and keeping their positions, since every light is very focused and narrow, each
must be placed to build a very specific element of the overall balanced image.
This is what I truly consider “painting with light.”


Hap-2 W/Focus Assist Light

Starting within a mainly dark studio and a black
canvas supported by very few gelled modeling
lights at low power, the scene presents a
the considerable task for the XF Camera Autofocus.
Using the new HAP-2 Autofocus system together
with the camera’s AF Assist Light (amongst the
other AF tools), the camera is sure to provide
perfect focus time and time again.

About Andrea Belluso

Andrea Belluso is an Italian photographer based in London and in Stockholm, where he has his studio. He started working in London in 1983 when he did his first job for Italian Condé Nast. Since then, he has had Paris and Milan as
home bases. Feeling at home both in the studio and on location, his long list of international clients has seen him travel all over the world on commissioned shoots. Andrea also works as a film director, producer and editor with many
broadcasted television hours worldwide. Andrea also holds lectures and seminars across the globe, and he is also known as “The Light Shaper” by the main photographic lighting company in the world, Profoto, because of his unique
expertise in photographic lighting. Apart from his commercial work, Andrea also publishes photographic art books and holds photographic art exhibitions.

You can see more of his work on his website

Andrea Belluso – Photography

Or on Instagram

Instagram Andrea Belluso

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