Following on from a recent studio session I thought I’d share with you some of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ information such as the lighting techniques and then finish off with a run through of the editing; taking the ‘out of camera’ images through to completion.
This particular shoot forms part of an ongoing project working with talented Make Up Artist Syn Ella. We’re currently working on new portfolios for the new year and having only worked with her a short time I’m really excited about some of the future shoots we have planned.
With regards to this particular studio session we focused solely on head shots and wanting the background to be clean and crisp we went for the white seamless set up; going the whole way setting up the reflective flooring…just incase we opted for some full length shots too.
As you can see from the lighting diagram I used a Profoto Beauty Dish as the main light which was positioned above and to the front of our model. Initially I wanted to use another light low down aimed up at our model’s face creating what’s commonly known as ‘Clam Shell’ lighting but instead opted for a Silver Tri Grip Reflector; reason???…I didn’t have a low enough light stand to hand 🙂
The white seamless background was lit using two Profoto heads either side and aimed ‘give or take’ into the middle. Both were flagged/hidden behind ‘V’ Flats to prevent lens flare and set to light the background at around 1½ to 2 stops brighter than the model to give pure white.
The two images below show the ‘out of camera’ image on the left and the final edited version on the right:
Here’s a video showing the editing process in Adobe Photoshop CS5 taking the image above from the ‘Before’ to the ‘After’ stage; mainly working on skin contrast and adding a bit more ‘punch’ to the eyes.
In real time the editing time was about 10 minutes but I’ve speeded up the video so that you can see the whole process in double time (ish):
I think like most photographers I can never just set up and start shooting; it takes me a little bit of time to get into the right frame of mind and ‘get my eye in’ and this is the same for everyone else on the set including the model and make up artist. This is the time when I’ll set up something real simple and rattle off a few frames. The image below was taken during this ‘warm up’ time and shot with just the Beauty Dish above and to the front of our model.
The images taken during this time aren’t one’s I’ll make use of as a rule but being a bit of a hoarder I’ll never throw them away; I’ll generally practice some retouching on them during a bit of downtime as was the case below:
If you’d like to see the techniques I used in the video (plus ones used in the image above) explained and at a slower pace you can find them in the Technique Category in the top menu, at this link or by visiting my YouTube Page. Oh and incidentally, the techniques can all be done in earlier versions of Photoshop.