Monday, October 22, 2007

Lighting for Portraiture: Combination 8

"Lighting for Portraiture (Walter Nurber, The Focal Press, 1948) is a classic manual for "Retro" portraits. Each pose is illustrated in painful detail ..all 64 of them. The book is written for tungsten lighting, but it can easily be used with modern strobes. I really like this book, got from Amazon for $15. So I decided to slowly reproduce every combination. It will take a while.
We start with C8, which is good for men. Picture and diagram as follow.

Camera set on 1/160th/f6.8/ISO100. 50mm lens.
- 800wsec Flood: 1/16th at 35deg, 10 feet from subject, 6feet from ground. light "feathering" body and face.

- Vivitar: 1/16th, on the ground, 2feet from dark wall, pointing up, gobo to limit light towards ceiling.

Note for 'd be models: to get the right look stare at the camera and turn eyes left and up, keeping neck still.
Framing the shoulder on camera left is important for the mood of the shot. Keeping the flood as far as possible makes shadows harder. Nose shadow: do not let it touch the upper lip (a capital crime in the 40ies...). The original portrait used a snoot on the flood light so the look is a little more low key and dramatic there.

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