I got to spend some time in the studio this past weekend with model Danny Bartlett working on some more images for his portfolio and also some techniques that I’m looking at including in my workshop.
As usual, wanting to keep things nice and simple so that they can be easily replicated I stuck to using just the one light and one modifier; a Nikon SB800 Speedlight and a 46″ Silver/White Reflective Umbrella.
For the main shots the Speedlight was placed on a boom directly above Danny but aimed into the Silver/White Reflective Umbrella. Now usually for this set up I would have used the 60cm Lastolite EzyBox but as I’m wanting to get as much use out of the umbrellas as I can and push them to really find out their limitations, I did exactly that, and used the 46″ Umbrella attached to the boom using a Manfrotto Swivel Adaptor. The umbrella itself wasn’t locked fully open so that the direction of the light was controlled that much more so and came directly down onto Danny.
* The main thing to watch out for when using an umbrella in this way is the umbrella shaft as it can get quite close to your models head, especially if they are quite tall as in Danny’s case. The last thing you want to do is to injure your model however for these images it might have contributed to the ‘look’ quite well.
Getting just the right amount of light to fall onto Danny’s body took a few shots and the best result came when the light was above but slightly infront (roughly 45cm). Also instructing Danny to keep his head facing directly ahead and then also tilted forward allowed for virtually no light to illuminate his facial features; adding to the overall look we were after.
Having experimented for some time with the boom we then moved on to some headshots, again using the 46″ Reflective Umbrella which in the case of the image below was completely closed down and positioned to the left.
So as to avoid having the left side of Danny’s face & head fall completely into shadow, a silver reflector was held on the other side of Danny facing back towards the umbrella.
A plain white backdrop was used in the studio and that was turned to a darker shade of grey by the positioning of the lighting. However, you’ll notice from the ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ pictures below that the background in the final image is a little bit different and that’s because this is actually a ‘Composite’.
In the next few weeks I’m going to show you the editing involved to take us from ‘Start’ to ‘Finish’ so make sure you keep an eye out for that one as there are a few techniques I’m really looking forward to sharing with you.
In the mean time if you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them so please, as always, feel free to make use of the comments section below.