Lighting Techniques – Light Tunnel with Nikki Leigh (NSFW)

Awhile back I posted a mini how-to on my Light Tunnel in Jen Rozenbaum’s Boudoir Group on Facebook. Since then, I have been asked to do a blog post on it. I apologize for taking so long but here it is!  😀

Light Tunnel with Nikki Leigh

Back in 2015, I got together with friend and local model Nikki Leigh to update our portfolios.  During planning, we agreed we would capture 3 looks with one of them being a nude set for submission. We met at my studio in Windsor’s West side community called Olde Sandwich Town and worked through each look.  It is the final set, the nude set, where this technique was used.  I call it my Light Tunnel.

The Light Tunnel

The Light Tunnel was something  I stumbled onto by trial and error, when I discovered that indirect light is always the most pleasing light to photograph people, specifically nudes. Also, it was a necessity in order to get the backlit rim light that I prefer on my subjects, without using more lights than I care to balance for this technique. Less is more.

I wanted something quick and easy to set up that would create flawless skin, skin so perfectly beautiful that there is very little skin treatment required in post.  It is truly wondrous light!

The Setup

ray akey photography - light tunnel The setup is quite easily and can be accomplished using 2 lights and a pair of v-flats as seen in the accompanying OLDC lighting diagram.

I must note that my studio walls are pure (dead flat) white and I love bounce light. My aim while positioning the lights was to not have any direct light from the strobes hitting the model.  All light is bounced off the white studio walls and thus wraps around the model quite nicely for beautiful tones, especially if the end result will be a black and white conversion.  Really nice high key images using this technique.

Light Details

The lights I used (2 Alien Bees – B800 model) were approximately model chest height, positioned to light and bounce off the corners of the wall. I use Yongnuo triggers and my lights are mounted on Studio Titan stands. Both lights were metered at the same power for a reading of f/11 on each side of the model. A final reading center-stage gave me f/9 so I set my Canon 5D Mark II to ISO 100, a shutter speed of 1/125s and an aperture of f/9 and I was ready to go!

I knew that I would get a wonderfully symmetric pattern in the center of the set. Which meant if I posed Nikki on either side, leaning lightly on the flats that were used both and flags and bounce reflectors, I would get a wonderful side light that wrapped around to illuminate Nikki quite nicely.

Insert Model

All I needed then was for Nikki to put her modeling skills to work, which she did quite nicely as you see below. We worked through a bunch of images both posed and natural movements by Nikki.We ended up with a solid set of images.

Thanks for reading and viewing!
If you found this post useful, feel free to share.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments box below.

Check back often for more tips on photography, lighting and retouching. Don’t forget to subscribe to site updates at the bottom of this page to receive updates when new content is posted.

(tip: click on any image to launch the full screen viewer)

Click here to learn more about Windsor Photographer Ray Akey
This entry was posted in Hints and Tips & Tutorials, Lighting, Lighting Techniques, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .