lighting setup Tag

A question I posed to Facebook users back in October - How many lights were used in the photograph above? Extra bonus points for taking a stab at light modifiers used on said number of lights. I created this photo strictly as a visual aid for an article I wrote back in October as well (click here for that post). Taking the little side project further, I was curious to see if anyone following me on Facebook would get close to the light setup used to make the photo. I would have to say Justin was the closest guess, as he went into some pretty good detail on lighting position. Reproduction of the "real" world is a funny thing in the photo and video field. I guess we have commercial photography and the movie industry to thank for our completely unrealistic view on reality nowadays. What I mean by that, is that artificially lighting most setups as if it were 100% replicating a natural occurrence flat-out looks bad in a final photograph. Walking around in real life, we see things, accept them as beautiful, and we appreciate them and go on with life. However... when it comes to looking at a photograph that was done well, in respect to holding true to artificially re-creating only natural forms of light found in the world, we get REALLY picky. "Oh, I don't like how that person's head isn't edged-out by backlighting and cannot be made-out from the background, " or "the shadows are not filled-in enough for me." We don't know what "natural" even looks like anymore. It's true, and a comment on the Facebook photo proves it, with a user guessing that only light from the computer screen is lighting this entire photo (not their fault, this is the general public's view of light and what they are exposed to with every photo and video professional produced). And with today's overstimulating, commercialized, uber marketing online world, we demand to see the "real world" in a not-so-real situation with perfect beauty lighting on faces, proper rim lighting, and fans blowing a models hair back... now that's REAL life (I kid)! Every once in a while, we photographers can get away with a "natural" lighting approach, and get away with a people pleasing photo, but not often. We usually have to cleverly light it to ensure all of the visuals in a composition are well-lit for proper attention and detail.