To see that you can keep portraits simple, just look at this shot of Gaurav Sharda, an up-and-coming photographer from Brampton:
This photo was taken with a 430EX flash in an umbrella to our right, fired from a Canon 1D MkIV camera with a 580EX II to drive the slave flash.
Shutter speed was 1/200th second and aperture f/5.6, at a sensitivity of 100 ISO. The lens was a 70-200 f/2.8 set to a focal length of 90mm.
Wat is simple here?
- Available white wall, no backdrop.
- I used TTL, no complicated metering. Of course the white wall necessitated a Flash Exposure Compensation setting of +1 stop (check your histogram to be sure).
- One white shoot-through umbrella, nothing else (the umbrella throws enough light elsewhere into the room to also give you some fill). The umbrella also gives us a nice circular catchlight.
- Standard “studio” settings for aperture and shutter.
- I converted to black and white in Lightroom.
- Nothing else needed to be done!
So for portraits, sometimes simple is enough. Do not start with lots of lights if you do not need them.