I had the opportunity to do a fun portrait this week. Heather is competing for Spokane Rodeo Queen and we just did her portrait for the photogenics category of the event. We were going for a traditional setup, as judges in these expect classic posing and simple light. I still managed to sneak in a little ratio to sculpt her face and to have a little fun with the pose, which Heather did beautifully on. I’ve just made up the prints and they came our great. This was fun for me because it’s a bit outside of the approach I normally take. I did Heather’s senior portraits years ago and we printed a sweeping environmental portrait. But the need for specific look made me focus on the light and the details in order to produce this simple but inviting classic portrait.
It was fun and I think Heather will do well… Gav
For Photographers. How it was made…
Technical Notes: Canon MK2, 70-200 2.8 @100mm, f6.3, 1/50, ISO640, Induro Tripod
Processing: Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Seim Effects tools.
I lit this simply using LED panels. I used a 500 like this for the main and a smaller 160 like this for the fill. I like constant light for a solo portrait as I don’t have to worry about what the strobes are doing. I can interact with the model and refine the set without extra distractions, yet know exactly what I’m going to get. I used a 1/2 CTL gel on the main light and spot metered for Zone 6 on the face (more on zone in my EXposed series). The hard work was done before I pressed the shutter.
On the post processing side that left me with time to focus on the details. I use a preset from the new Color Fantasies 2 to start off. We quickly narrowed it down to the one image and I did some final detail work in LR and PS, including using Portraitist from Hollywood Effects 2. A bit of final tonal work and we had it. My goal was a portrait that felt stunning but also felt real. I think it worked our well.