Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly update and portrait photos

This past week saw me with a new assignment to take a series of corporate portraits for use on the company's website for staff bios. This required the use of a fairly basic lighting setup to minimize shadows and keep the lighting even so that even at thumbnail size, the portrait is clearly viewable.

To achieve the lighting setup I used the following items:
  1. pair of Manfrotto light stands
  2. Nikon SB600 Speedlight
  3. Nikon FL-G2-AWB flash gel (shooting under fluorescent light)
  4. Nikon SC-26 TTL cable
  5. Nikon D100 (w/Nikkor 60mm Micro)
  6. Shoot through umbrella
  7. 32in reflector (using the white cover)
  8. large portable projector screen as the background
I also was trying out a new tethered setup linking my D100 to my MacBook Pro using Sofortbild (available here - I can report that the tethered shooting worked very well and I will certainly be making further use of the software.

Here is a diagram of the lighting setup I used for the shoot:
As you can see, I had my subjects stand facing into the shoot-through umbrella and than turn their head back to face me, so they were not (where possible) standing square on to the camera. Where possible I like to avoid shooting straight on at a subject as it just looks wrong to me. Yes, it can make the subject look "strong"but it also looks too rigid; it was also the wrong look for the shoot. The idea was to have everyone look friendly and approachable, so a more relaxed and casual look was what I was after.

One drawback I had to deal with was the bank of fluorescent lights directly over the head of my subjects - if you look at the eyes in my examples, you will see an additional catchlight from this. As it was, I made some use of the additional light to keep the shutter speed up while running the flash as rear-curtain fill flash to balance the flash and ambient light levels.

I also had some model release forms with me and had a handfull of the models sign them to enable me to make use of the photos here on my blog and my website. Those that I didn't ask
to sign a form will only have their photos used on the company website and not on either of my sites.

Now it's time to post a few example photos from the shoot -

Whitney Adams

Sharon Reese

Richard Chance

Kristina Adams

Larry Winegar

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