One Light Portraits: A Collection

The assignment was to shoot a portrait with one light.

Studio Portrait: Clean background, Simple Light; Forceful, Expressive Portrait

Specifics:

A very clean portrait shot on a flat field background (wall, seamless, cyc, material, cloth, canvas…) Tightly focused and stylistically within your style. This image should be created to show how you handle strong personalities in front of your lens.
There should be special attention placed on the expressiveness of the portrait: Sadness, pain, angst, joy, humor, intensity… ENGAGED.

We want to see more than a smile, more than a beauty shot. This is a glimpse into the soul of the subject.

It is important to make the lighting something that enhances the look / feel of the subject. Whether it is soft or hard, single light or multiple strobes, natural or mixed or whatever, the light and the subject should be something that makes sense – to you.

To me, one light is a way of presenting a subject free of the hand of the photographer. A light is a light, and the subject has a relationship to that light that is in many ways more organic than when additional lights are added in. Of course, I am referring to lights on the subject, not background lights or ambient or location specific lighting.

This week the August group took on the “one light portrait” challenge:

The “Test Shot” with Stephen Collins

Objective:

Shoot rare military memorabilia (medals, daggers, insignias, etc.) for inclusion in to an auction catalog and online viewing portal. Images must be large (3000-4000px, .tiff), with no specular reflection, especially the dagger blades (ornate etchings), yet show depth and texture of every item. Some edge specular was acceptable and desired.

Background:
I was invited to a test shoot; Determine my ability to produce the image quality required. Of course, the people inviting me in, are not photographers and did not completely communicate the details of how, what or where I’d be shooting. So I loaded up the car with a little bit of everything and off I went.

During the test shoot it became obvious I needed to “MacGyver” a better solution than bouncing a soft box off tabletop white seamless. I needed an indirect, side lit solution, height adjustable with the camera directly overhead.

Using what I had around the house, I needed only two extra pieces of foam board. The three black boards are taped together, creating a trifold. The two holes cut for the storbs hold the trifold in place nicely and are not affected by heat from the modeling lamps.

I was originally thinking black board for zero reflection on the knife blades. While that did work, adding a white board clamped to the center board, is much better for a uniform, non-specular reflection. And, now I have both options should the image call for a change up. I also included two white boards on each end to provide more uniform lighting.

Final Shot:

_DSC6292web

Light stand (one side) consists of: Standard light stand with optional sand bag
Swivel umbrella adaptor with double stud adaptor
> Paul C Buff mini boom arm
> Pole clamp connected to large spring clamp holding 3×4’ white foam board reflector

Stephen Collins

Website

<a href=”http://www.lighting-essentials.com/category/summer-school/”><img src=”http://www.lighting-essentials.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SUMMER-SCHOOL.gif” alt=”SUMMER-SCHOOL” width=”200″ height=”158″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-8897″ /></a>MANY OF THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY <a href=”http://www.project52pros.com” target=”_blank”>PROJECT 52 PRO</a> MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

 

“Photographing Pills” with Alicia Bonterre

Assign15-Alicia-Bonterre-Tue

The assignment was to photograph some pills and bottle for a drop in to another shot.

  1. Parameters for the shot? White background…..that’s it. My thought process for this shot was how can I make this even a little bit interesting
  2. What type of shadows do I want and
  3. What kind of specular/highlight do I want.

To this end I chose a brightly colored bottle and pills…more interesting than solid white pills.

I then used a softbox close to subject to soften shadows and a small strip light on a speedlight to give long specular highlights and help show shape of the pills.

bts

 

westcott strip

(I actually started with a Gary Fong diffuser instead but the specular was round and small and didn’t help show the shape. Below you can see how the highlights from a small, round light do not help the presentation of the pills.)

gary fong diffuser

A BTS of the Fong Lighting:

gary fong BTS

See more of Alicia’s work at her website.SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.