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Camera, Lens & Lighting Setup For Beautiful Skin

In the latest episode of his show, The Breakdown, Miguel Quiles shows how he uses shallow depth of field, high speed sync and a gridded beauty dish when he is working with a model who has particularly great skin.

"When photographing somebody with really excellent skin, using a beauty dish helps bring out the texture and the detail in their skin. Using a beauty dish will help to achieve that. We're going to put a grid on the beauty dish because it's going to narrow the light and give a different quality of light."

For his camera gear, Quiles uses the Sony α7 II and the 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master and he's shooting with the lens at f/2.8. "It is an insanely-sharp lens." He continues, "Part of why I do this is I want to get really nice falloff where the eyes are in focus and the hair starts to blur away."  

Because Quiles wants to shoot at f/2.8, he needs to employ the α7 II's High Speed Sync mode. He explains, "I'm shooting at f/2.8, 1/5000-sec, ISO 160. I'm using High Speed Sync for this particular shot. The reason I'm doing that is I want to be shooting at f/2.8 and I have to have a shutter speed that kills of all of the ambient light in the room. I always shoot a photograph at these settings with just the ambient light so I can see that's nothing affecting the actual exposure and then I'll go ahead and turn on my strobe."

Watch the full video to see how Quiles builds the lighting setup to change the quality of light and dramatically affect the look in the photos.