Monday, May 23, 2011

How I Got The Shot #18 - One Light and a Willing Model

OK, so anyone who lives in the mid west will tell you that this time of year is generally rainy...and this season we've had more than our fair share.  I thought I saw a someone building an ark, the other day....but I digress.

Sometimes the mood just hits a person.  I'm speaking of my wife, who generally gets into moods of not wanting her picture taken at all, and then at other times, she asks me if I'd be interested in an impromptu shoot.  Well, lucky me, the other day was just one of those days.

Literally, I had just enough time to convert our living room into a make shift studio while she got her makeup on and hair into shape.
This first shot here is one of my favorites.

ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 1/125th, 50mm
Light to camera left

Check out the details after the break...

Creative Process:
I was not sure what I wanted to do at first, so I just started letting my mind wonder as I was setting up my equipment.  I decided that I wanted to keep it to very simple beauty shoot.  Details to follow.

Location:
The smallish living room of my residence in a suburb of Columbus, OH.

Gear:
Nikon D300
Nikon 50mm f/1.8
Tamron 90mm f/2.8
Alien Bee B400
43" Umbrella Box
Light Stand
Backdrop stand
White backdrop
White 40" reflector

EXIF Info:
Shot in Manual , 1/125th @ between f/5 and f/7.1, ISO 200, 50 or 90mm, RAW
There was post processing done through Lightroom 3.4

Lighting Setup:
I was running at roughly 1/4 power.  As you can see, I was adjusting the aperture above, depending on the subjects location to the light.  If she moved a little closer, then I closed down, farther away and I opened up a bit.  This kept me from having to adjust the light power.

The light was positioned on a light stand to camera left, at a 45 degree angle and above the models eye line.
I did not light the backdrop separately because of the cramped quarters, the key light was able to fill the white backdrop.  No extra lighting required.

Other shots from the series.  Note - the light did not move position, the model did.  You can get quite a bit different looks from the same light, but you change up your position to the light and the models direction to give you those different looks.

ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 1/125th, 90mm

ISO 200, f/7.1 @ 1/125th, 90mm

ISO 200, f/7.1 @ 1/125th, 90mm

 ISO 200, f/7.1 @ 1/125th, 50mm
Used Topaz labs plug in for this otherworldly, dark effect

  ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 1/125th, 50mm

  ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/125th, 50mm

   ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 1/125th, 50mm

Post processing:
Fortunate for me, the light was spot on and the model required no skin corrections in post processing.  I wanted to give the images a specific look, so I did work with different presets, and tone/curve adjustments/B&W conversions in Lightroom.

And sometimes it is just that simple.  Have a willing model, get the gear out and let the creativity guide you.  Nothing special was bought for this shoot.  Everything was found around our house.

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