As a general type, portrait photos are often disliked by the subject themselves. From the early formative years of grade school on into the advanced years of adulthood, the uneasy feeling for the dislike of your own picture is universal. Yet it is not for vanity sake, or to spare the shock of another from seeing self-assumed horrors. Assuming you are neither a narcissist or a beauty queen with flawless perfection, you may be like the rest of the human race. There is real science behind the reason why you may not like your own photograph.
The three light setup has been a staple of portrait photographers for decades. There isn’t just one three light setup, though, there are several, with some slight variations, which can change the mood dramatically. In this photo, photographer Rob Hall used his three lights with various modifiers to create this portrait, and he’s shared with DIYP how he set them up in order to get it.
It’s expensive. And who really has the money to buy all the name brand photo gear? I certainly don’t. With that said, expensive equipment does NOT make the photograph. The photographer does. Which is why I am exploring various non photography specific gear and using it for my photography.
Let’s take seamless background paper for example. A roll of Savage 53″ x 36′ will cost you $30 at B&H. That’s not exactly cheap, especially if you’re just starting out, have a family; are a student or simply just don’t have enough funds to throw at expensive gear. Now, let’s compare that $30 roll to Pacon’s Fadeless construction paper that costs you $10 for a 48″ x 12′ roll.
Sometimes the hardest lighting setups to achieve are actually the ones that look the easiest. For years I’ve wanted to emulate that dappled lighting you see through leaves on a sunny day, or that rippled light you see at the bottom of a swimming pool when the wind catches the water. Like I said, this should be relatively easy to recreate in a studio in theory, as every natural light setup is only ever one light. How hard could that be? (<- photo-nerd pun)
Usually, when we hear about reflection issues with photography, especially with flash, it’s on glasses. The type people wear on their faces. We’ve posted about that on here before. This time, we’re dealing with regular flat glass. Like that found in windows and doors. The same principles apply, although you do have a few more options.
In this video, photographer Rob Hall takes a look at the subject of reflections on glass surfaces when working with flash. He offers up a number of tips and solutions to help reduce or eliminate the problem entirely. Which will work best for you will depend on your situation. But armed with these techinques, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the shot you want.
Photographer Mathieu Stern is passionate about finding and even making unusual lenses. This time, he hit a flea market and found a $6 treasure: Rollei 90mm f/2.4 MC. It’s a slide projector lens, but Mathieu adapted it to his Sony mirrorless camera and found out that it’s also great for portraits.
Sometimes you want a hard light to make a statement, but sometimes you want a soft light, a light that draws little attention to itself. That was the case with our Model in a Red Dress shoot.
It’s not often I get to shoot very simple, clean white light shots, but in a recent shoot the model asked if she could get some updated ‘Polaroids’. For those of you not familiar with the term when used in reference to a model shoot, it’s actually not the now obsolete and ludicrously expensive single-shot film, but a request for very basic portraits of the model for their agency. This ‘Polaroid’ term is a relic from the analogue film days and it essentially now means shots that are un-retouched and with the model wearing very little makeup.
Taking a 180 degrees turn from our color-bursting portrait, here is a very soft black and white portrait and how to build a great setup for it.
Some portraits, you just want to be beautiful, not after retouching, but when you’re taking them, right out of the camera. That’s how this one goes.