Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One more Retro Portrait

This is composition 24 from
"Lighting for portraiture" a great book from Walter Nurnberg
The light scheme is shown here (the softbox on the left was not on), with my favorite take on the left.
The interesting deviation from the "by the book approach" is the light on the right arm and hand. It came from a window I forgot to completely obscure. Compare with the right take.

Photoshop tricks:
- Temp: K5650
- colors substantially unsaturated
- increased contrast on jacket and shirt.
- some minor skin retouching.

Things to improve:

- Not happy with the double highlights in the model's eyes.
- The background light in the right take is a little too distracting.
- Added Oct 08. Contrast between key and fill a tad too low.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Background Test for Apnea style photo.

She is the lovely Apnea. The photo was taken by the awesome Lithium Picnic. I am not sure about the subject on the right, but that is beside the point. The lighting is subtle, if simple, so how did he do it? My light set up is above...it is a quick first attempt. The interesting bits are the background color gradient and where the lights were. I suspect a bit of photoshopping to brighten up the subject. There is definitely a large softbox as fill (it shines on the rubber at camera left). The light set up I used is below. ISO 100 f9.0 1/160 18mm. Subject at 2ft from background 800ws Octabox and Softbox at 1/32. Diffused 400ws strobe at 1/8th. Lights 6ft high. (the diffused strobe might not be necessary..).

The color gradient was achieved with two layers and the "curves" command. The reddish one was erased on the right. I roughly matched the background colors from the original. The man skin is obviously darker than hers. Things that did not work out: there are two shadows on the right! and not enough detail in the darks. (note: her right background reads 82 87 90). What to do?

  1. Move octabox to center and closer to subject. Add a tad more fill, but not on background.
  2. Lower both softboxes one foot.
  3. Move strobe a little further away?
  4. Right softbox at same distance as subject.
  5. subject a bit further from background.