How to Add Atmospheric Light to Lingerie Photography

When I captured this shot in the studio, I was happy with how it looked. But I’m a perfectionist, as you know! And when I came back to it later, I wished I’d made the lighting a bit more atmospheric.

In this video, I break down the original lighting setup, showing you exactly how I lit the model and the props. I also take you through the simple post-production work I did to create the authentic dappled light effect so crucial to the impact of the final image.

Building the set

Though that may look like an authentic Parisian apartment located just down the boulevard from the Moulin Rouge, it is in fact a set built from scratch in our studio.

Building the set

Once the model was on set and styled for the shoot, we experimented with a few different arrangements.

Moving sofa on set

Lighting the shot

As you can see in the lighting diagram below, I used two different light sources for this shot. The main light was a Flooter – a large Fresnel-style lamp that focuses light into a nice tight beam while also feathering it at the edges. In this shot, it casts a beautiful hard light, producing well-defined shadows.

The other light source was a standard P70 reflector with a tight honeycomb grid. I used this to cast a small spot of light onto the cabinet while creating a natural darkness at the left edge of the frame.

Lighting diagram

Creating the dappled light in post

Working on the image in Photoshop, I decided to add some dappled light, hoping to create an authentic feeling of sunlight coming in through net curtains.

To do this, I created a new layer, then added smears of white paint on top of the black mask. I then added Gaussian blur, smudging and stretching the patches of ‘light’ for a randomised dappled look.

Creating the dappled light in photoshop

The final result

This shoot was another instance of careful pre-visualization and on-set spontaneity combining with creative post-production to generate a striking final result.

Without dappled light post-production


Using dappled light Photoshop mask

Final image using dappled light Photoshop mask

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