Portrait Experimentation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5516088149/

"B" 160mm, f/2.8, 1/250s

A few weeks ago I got “B” (his nickname) to pose for some impromptu portraits (Hi, B…I know you’ll be reading this). It’s nice to have someone other than my kids to use as a subject. I used two off-camera strobes — one for B and one for the background (the shots that aren’t processed so dramatically actually show the background). The main light was shot through a 43″ umbrella for some shots and reflected from that umbrella for others. In this shot the camera is camera-right, slightly higher than the subject, and just barely out of the camera frame. I don’t remember the power setting but we were generally using between 1/16 and 1/32 power. Flashes were controlled by Elinchrom Skyports.

For the background strobe I used various gels to change the color of the background (see this post for examples with a different subject). We had fun with it. And, when you’re having fun with photography, you are more likely to be creative, try new things, and come up with something cool.

In post, I played around with the images and ended up really liking this one. I used a preset called Freebird in Lightroom (a free preset I picked up somewhere). A couple other minor tweaks and this image was done. Dark. Mysterious. I love how the right eye is lit by its own little spot of light. I like about everything with this portrait except where the catchlights are in the eyes — I’d rather have them more in the center of the eyes.  Live and learn.  The best thing about this portrait is that it’s simple and every step is easy to recreate if I want to do it again.

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4 responses

  1. You’re becoming quite the strobist Michael.

    March 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    • I’ve got a long way to go but thanks! That’s really the area of photography I’d like to learn the most right now but I only have a limited amount of time to spend on it…

      March 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

  2. March 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm

  3. Nice lighting Michael, I need to start playing around with a flash instead of a promote!

    March 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

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