Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Portrait's Progression

Please excuse the subject in the above photo, you shoot what's available and that's usually me. I wanted to illustrate a one light portrait and it's progression. In this one light portrait, I progressively subtracted light within the scene to create a more dramatic image. Let me start out by showing the setup for the final and 4th photo shown above.

I used a FourSquare™ for the light source of these portraits. The stool in the room is about 6 feet in front of the background. The first photo of the 4 shown above was shot just using the FourSquare™. Light traveled to the background and bounced off the shooting space wall on camera right.

In the second photo, I added a black panel behind the FourSquare™ in order to block some of the light off the background. In the setup photo above you can see the shadow being created by the panel behind the FourSquare™

In the third photo, I added a black cloth to kill the bounce off of the wall on the right. And in the final image, I added a flag to block light off of my right shoulder and across my lower neck.

Next time your using a single light for a portrait, try flagging some of the light off of your subject in order to create a more dramatic portrait.

10 comments:

Wayne said...

Did you consider the position of the light to avoid reflection in the glasses which you executed perfectly?
Made more difficult since you were the model.

Inspirational as usual.

Roberta said...

Hi David. This is a great example of how sometimes less is more. Subtracting some of the light brings out your mysterious nature!

Roberta (from your Nikonians workshop in Philadelphia)

Miikka said...

Simple and good advice. I wish I could shoot only in black rooms to have total control of the light.

Haristobald said...

I love this post very usefull
thanx

nelsonh said...

David, curious how many flash heads you had in the box for this demo? And more to the point, how many heads do you find yourself using in the FourSquare most of the time? Do you point them at the sides of the box for better dispersion? Put the diffusion domes on? Sorry for the littany, I'm giving serious thought to getting one (or two) and would value your feedback. Thanks for the great posts and info.

Rick said...

Nice examples, David. I keep picking up SBs when I find a steal, yet I find myself using fewer and fewer lights.

Interface said...

Great information, David. Taking light away. Not many people talk about that. Thanks.

Phat Baby Photographer said...

Love the simple but instructive explanation.

Darren Whitley said...

How high is your basement ceiling?

David Tejada said...

My ceiling is just about 8 foot. DT