How do I make skin stand out more? I take photos of nude subjects and I'm trying to highlight the male and female anatomy more clearly, but the lower regions aren't coming out like I want them. Do you have any suggestions on creating more even lighting?
closed as too broad by Hugo, Dan Wolfgang, Michael C, John Cavan Jan 23 '16 at 14:14
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You need a weaker diffuse lighting to lift up the signal-to-noise ratio and preferably a medium format camera like Hegre uses. That really makes the skin details pop. Nude shots are not like glamour shots. Here you really need to see the fine little cute hairs and goosebumps. Secondly, you need 1-2 stronger directional light sources to add some depth to the scene, and make the features, such as the penis, breasts and most importantly the female thighs shades from one side as to make the lush curves stand out and seem more elaborate.
Furthermore, I have been told (by our own Stan, so maybe he will explain this better) that skin tones are achieved by using layers with gradients of reference skin tones, so control this aspect better. This is a lot of work, but it may be necessary.
You get more even lighting by using a large area light source. This could be a window but more commonly used are soft-boxes, beauty dishes and umbrellas. They give different results but all give even light.
Here is some more information about light modifiers: Soft boxes vs umbrellas, pros and cons