Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Painting with light (and shadow)

I've often heard photography referred to as painting with light but in reality, it's the shadows that really make or break the image, especially in portraits. Effective use of light and shadows can really "sculpt" the models features and make them stand out. Of course, taken too far and you can overdo it - with either the light or the shadows; the trick is in finding the balance between the two.

What got me thinking of this again was my experimenting on a design idea for a portrait head-piece for an Autumn/Winter theme. That and a chance to try out my new beauty-dish. As I didn't have a "live" model available, I made use of Tyra; my styrofoam stand in.


I think the head-piece needs a little more work but the general idea is one I'm going to continue working on as it has a lot of potential.

For the technically minded here are the details on the photo:
Nikon D2x, 35mm f/1.8 @ 1/250sec and f/2.8, SB-900 in a Phottix beauty-dish @1/32 power

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Minor update

As there was no usual mid-week post last week, I wanted to do a quick update to let everyone know that I'm still here.

My recent photo "assignment" was to take photos at a halloween costume competition, but as I did not have any model release forms signed I can't really share any of them here. They were used for university instead for competition judging and for posting the winning participants. I'm not too concerned by all this as if nothing else, it was a good exercise in shooting on the fly (so to speak) as most of my plans had to change on the day and no two photos were the same. Also, I had a very short space of time to setup and shoot each photo, weather it was a single person or a group of 12+.

On a different note, I found a great product that I am eagerly awaiting its arrival; the Phottix Luna folding beauty dish. Finally I will be able to use a beauty dish on my SB-900 hotshoe flash. This, alongside my pair of shoot-through umbrellas and Lastolite Ezybox, will give me all three main lighting tools for portrait work and will allow me to vary from wide, soft diffused light to more directional and contrasty light.