In yesterday’s class at The Granite Club, I emphasized that you can do professional artistic pictures with very simple means. Any DSLR camera; a normal lens, slightly wide to slightly long, and one on-camera flash in a small room. That can get you shots like this:
- Shoot in a small room with white walls and ceilings.
- Shoot long if you can – avoid wide except when you have to in the small room.
- Try to “fill the frame”, and use good composition (e.g. the Rule of Thirds).
- Camera on manual – say, f/5.6 at 1/125th sec and 400 ISO.
- Try to include props – perhaps special clothing, sunglasses, anything interesting.
- Simplify your shot – take things out that do not belong! You can do this by positioning, tilting, and even by post-shoot cropping.
- Expose high: use Flash Compensation (“FEC”), to a positive setting (perhaps +1 to as much as +2). Light bright = smooth skin.
- Especially: aim the flash accurately “where you want the virtual umbrella to be”.
That last point is illustrated by me here. Look carefully:
Can you see how I am holding the flash, and aiming it accurately behind me? You can see the white ceiling – where my flash lights it up, i.e. the “virtual umbrella”) right in front of the model.
(Cool shot, no? I am lucky to have a regular good model, and all the equipment – but with a little practice, we can all do this, with any model and any camera and lens. Learn the technique – then develop your eye.)