Monday, December 17, 2012

How I Got The Shot #35: Senior Portrait Session and One Lens

This was a senior portrait shoot, and for this one we went very basic in both approach and gear.

Creative Process:
The client was looking to get something at a remote location.  This location had a restored grain mill and some other buildings.  It was a great location to shoot at, but it did have some challenges.

First, it was very windy that day.  I had my assistants use the 42" reflectors as wind blockers.   Using a large umbrella was also out of the question and the light was too direct and overhead to use  ambient light only.  So we used the Nikon SB-26 with a Lumiquest Softbox LTP attached.  At times we also used the reflectors in shoot through mode to get a larger, softer blow of light when needed.

Second, construction.  This place is under going a renovation, so there were orange fences up all over the place.  It was interesting to try and get just the right angles where you get a nice background, but not have the "unnatural" elements included.

Just some of the challenges of on location shooting.

OK - so why only the 50mm f/1.8D??

Why not?  If you know what your gear can do, and how to get it to perform, then go for it!!  The 50mm lens is a great focal length.  It is wide enough to allow you to get some good environment around your subject, long enough to allow for a reasonable amount of bokeh, if you want it.
The 50mm lens is very versatile and I highly recommend that anyone who takes photography seriously, get themselves a 50mm lens and master it.

Rock Mill Park, Bloom, OH.

Nikon D700
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
Nikon SB-26
Lumiquest Softbox LTP
2 X reflector panels in white reflect and shoot through
Radio Popper JrX Studio transmitter/receiver

EXIF Info:
Shot in manual mode
Camera quality setting - RAW
exposure - various settings

Lighting Setup:
As stated earlier, we used the shoot through mode of the reflector to take the hardness of the noonish sun out of the images.  In this image below, the shoot through reflector softened the sunlight, and then we used the SB-26/LTP combo to fill in light for the subjects face and lessen the shadows even more.

For this image, we used the combination of the shoot through reflector, but ran the speedlight through it.  I wanted the exposure I lost from the sunlight back.  Light was placed to camera left.

For this one, I liked the look of the shoot through reflector without the speed light going through it.

There were some clouds that day too, and for this shot, the clouds acted as our diffuser for the sun and provided us with some nice, even lighting.

Post Processing:
The primary edit from RAW was done using Adobe Lightroom 4.2.  We used it to get the base colors, sharpness and tones the way we like it.

Next, we used onOne Software Portrait 2.0 software to get rid of the fly away hairs, sharpen the eyes and do some basic touch ups.

After that, it was back to onOne Perfect Effects 4.0 to add a little Glow effect to the images and you have the finish products you see above.

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