Two ways to take outstanding portraits with a projector
Projecting light and shapes onto your model opens up a whole lot of possibilities for creative, unusual portraits. If you’re looking for some inspiration and something new to try, this might just be it!
In this video from Adorama, Gavin Hoey shows you how to take outstanding portraits with projectors. He shows you two different methods, using continuous light and a strobe, so you can try whichever suits the lighting gear you own.
For the first method, Gavin uses a continuous LED light with a projector mount and a gobo. A good side of this approach is that you can see the light effect all the time as you adjust it. And of course, you can use any pattern you like. Make sure to turn off the room lights, and you can fill in the shadows with another LED light like Gavin does in the video. If you own an RGB LED light, you can change the colors of the light and get even more creative.
If you, like me, don’t own a continuous light – you can use your speedlight and get the same effect. But you’ll need a Spekular Light Blaster for this, and a Canon or Nikon lens attached to it. Your flash goes in the back of the device and the lens is the optical element, and there’s a slot for a color slide between them. You can use one of the slides provided in the kit, or try your old slides from a vacation.
Since this is a flash-based approach, you need to take a few test shots before you start shooting. But then, you can just change the slides and get all sorts of different effects. Gavin even added some smoke to his set and made some pretty unique shots.
Like Gavin, you can use the projected image as background light. Or like I did a few years back when I took this self-portrait, you can project the image straight onto the model.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.