Originally Posted by jlw
I know you don't want to make things complicated, but I still think you need a third light.
A hard (undiffused) light on the back diagonal, positioned to create some rim lighting, would help separate the subjects from the background and give some depth to the planes of the figures. Since it wouldn't be getting bounced or diffused, it doesn't have to be very powerful -- an inexpensive photocell-triggered flash probably would work fine. I realize you'd have problems at public events with other photographers' flashes popping your rimlight, but in a private event such as this one that presumably wouldn't be an issue.
It's not something you'd want to do all the time, but I think it would be worth trying. A lot of the time, especially when I've got a dark background, all I'll use for lighting is a big soft light on the front diagonal and a small hard light opposite it on the back diagonal. (Obviously a lens hood is a good precaution.)
The attached pictures are from a more formalized studio setting than you had, and I didn't shoot either of them with an RF camera, but I dug them out to show why I like the rim-light effect. The first one is from a workshop I took with Lois Greenfield, and the second one was set up in a theater against the black drapes.
Thanks for the comments. I tried a similar setup recently at the club. I used one flash with umbrella in front diagonal and another one in the back diagonal as well. I attached a sample from that shoot.
I wanted to do the same for the shibari session but the setup was against a wall. no room for a back light. I placed both lights on the sides, about 8 feet from the subjects and 3 feet in front of them. Next time, if we do this in the middle of the room, I'll use a back light for sure.
Originally Posted by hoot
Very interesting. I must confess I knew nothing about Shibari before looking at the photos. I assume it gets more hardcore than your photos depict. You managed to depict the event in a way that is both graphic and sensitive, IMO. Well done!
There really is an artistic side to this form of bondage. It's pretty close to sculpture. Of course, it can get more hardcore than this session which was really soft. The second bondage performed that night (no pictures because of my stupid error) was definitely harder and was more oriented towards pleasure than artisitc considerations. But there's always a lot of attention to details.
I'm glad you liked the pictures.