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:

One Umbrella on Location

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I am a Photoshop guy who is finding a lot of love in Lightroom. I would say that about 80% of my work goes from LR (or CR) into Photoshop for finishing. But the other 20% is done totally in Lightroom.

Briana and I did this shoot last year for some new portfolio pieces. She had this cool, crazy outfit and I wanted an urban setting for the shot.

I used a single softlighter at 1.5 stops brighter than ambient for a pool of light effect.

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I chose three that I liked:

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I chose the middle one to do the Lightroom work on. I may come back and do the third one in black and white at some point.

Below is the Lightroom work I did. Simple and easy, and somewhat subtle… but then subtle may be all you need.

SUMMER-SCHOOLMANY OF THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

Fitness Model on Location with Hiram Chee

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I was aiming for a clean catalog feel.

We shot this image at high noon in a football field. I used an Einstein F13 in a Softlighter without the sock for fill. I also used a -3f stop ND filter on my 85mm F1.8 to get the blue sky and blurred background.

I was shooting at F5.6. 1/125, ISO 100.

For post processing, I processed the RAW file in Capture One to dial in color balance, contrast, exposure, clarity, structure and sharpness. I then uploaded the image to CS6, denoised with Nik Dfine, softened the skin in Imagenomic Portraiture, balanced contrast in Nik Color Fx Pro Contrast and pre-sharpened in Nik software.

Lately I have been importing my edited psd files into LR5 and exporting JPGs at the appropriate size.

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