The other day I decided to do a quick self portrait. And instead of the normal “traditional” portrait, I did the following:
Moody, dark – I don’t smile much in pictures and life is serious! And as you see, lighting is all about what you do not light.
I made this picture as follows:
- I put up a grey backdrop.
- Using paper tape, I put a cross on the floor where I was going to be standing.
- I put a light stand there.
- Having put the camera on a tripod, I aimed at the light stand and focused on it; then set the focus to “manual”.
- I set the camera to self timer.
- I selected 1/125th second at f/11 (you want f/5.6 – f/11 for these shots normally).
- Using my light meter, I set my main light, which I fire with pocket wizards, to these values. That main light is a Bowens strobe with a softbox.
- I added a background light: a speedlight with a Honl Photo grid and a Honl Photo Egg Yolk Yellow gel. I set this to quarter power (experience). The speedlight was also fired via pocket wizard; if you have a Nikon speedlight you can use SU-4 mode (cell).
- I pressed the camera shutter button and took the exact place of the light stand. 10 seconds later: flash!
And that was that – simple once you know. Now you try!