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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The light, the jaws and the studio photography addiction

What follows is all about being hooked by those small portable lights, that give you enormous creative possibilities.

We had some boring days in Madrid. Outside is snowing and inside (my chest to be precise), is cold. Darn cold. I mean, I have a cold that could slam a horse to the floor. Yeah right, for once that I have the chance to go out and photograph some beautiful white snow, I'm jailed into my own hose.

Well, to get the best out of the situation, after swallowing a couple of Ibuprofen pills, just to get back to life for a couple of hours, I start putting together the circus to start the light(n)ing session. One flash here, another one here below, one behind ... no, let me change that ... a tad higher and a tad closer and so on. The options and countless, the results can be numbered in thousands, but eventually, even for a complete dork like me something comes out.

Here, the main light (SB600 at 1/8 through umbrella) is on camera right, a tad higher than the jaw. This is placed on top of a translucent sheet with another SB600 lighting from below: this flash is set at 1/32.

For this take I didn't use anything else rather than the above mentioned lights. This is basically the outcome from the RAW image with just a bit of sharpening

In this second image we used a reflector on camera left to fill a bit the shadows. Still the outcome of the RAW image with a bit of sharpening

Eventually here we have an edited version of the second image, with a B&W conversion and a more menacing look.

Setting up the "studio" takes time and it can be a bit of a drag, especially if wife and daughter arrive home a tad too early than expected. Yet, once you start working is tough to quit. This is quite an addictive thing, and even more for somebody like me, totally new to the game. When I did this session I could only count on 2 SB600, now I have a third one and a Metz 54 and I think I'm getting closer to the proper minimalistic lighting bag.

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