Take a studio portrait like this, of my son Daniel last night:
A studio shot.. but taken without a studio in, oh, one minute. Here’s how:
- Camera on manual; 1/125th sec, f/8.0, 400 ISO. (These settings are to ensure that the ambient light does nothing: it’s all flash. I could easily have used the usual 100 ISO, but I am using a speedlight, and want to ensure it has enough power).
- Speedlight on the camera, on TTL.
- Speedlight aimed 45 degrees up, 45 degrees behind me, to bounce off the ceiling.
- Subject positioned against an even light-coloured wall.
- Flash Exp. Comp. set to +1 stop.
- Tried various poses: right, left; shooting from above; from below. Took several shots in each position. Watched for shadows and catchlights as well as for expression and shape of face.
- Picked one.
- Converted it to B/W in Lightroom.
- Increased orange a little in the conversion to smooth and lighten skin.
- Done! Exported as JPG.
That is how you use studio techniques even without a studio. It’s not the gear: it’s the knowledge.
This is what I teach – and teaching photography is what I do at least as well as doing photography. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to hear more. To those of you in or around Mississauga: Basic and Advanced DSLR courses at Vistek tomorrow: sign up right now!