Sunday, March 27, 2011

Faking Daylight: Portrait Session with Michael Asino

A few weeks ago, Michael Asino, an artist, commissioned me to take his portrait to be used in his social networking accounts. Michael, being a very busy person, is just available at night. We did the shoot in my place in Santa Rosa at around 9:00pm.

Mike, wanted his photo to look a bit casual but still presentable as he is being contacted by his clients mostly in social networking accounts, particularly in facebook. We sat for a few minutes and talked about the "feel" he wanted for the final photo. We both agreed to make the photo, black and white to have that "classic" feel. I told him that the photo should also feel "light" and not stiff for him to look very cordial.

I wanted the photo to look as if it was taken during a sunny day. I sat Mike near a window and placed one of my speedlights behind him to make it look like as if the sun is just gleaming through the window. To light his face, I placed a reflector near him to bounce the light from the speedlight to his face.

Mike is not used to having his photos taken and looked very stiff so I started a conversation while I was taking his photo. I wanted to capture a very natural smile so I started asking things about his daughter. Right away, Mike, thinking about his daughter, let out a very warm smile and I was able to capture it. Here's the final photo and a simple diagram of my lighting set up.

camera: 85mm 1/200 2.8 200ISO
speedlight: TTL +1.0

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Monday, March 7, 2011

High Key Photography: Available Light

A couple of weeks ago, I had a portrait session with my friend's little sister, Grey. I took her portraits as my graduation gift to her. Here are the photographs...

(click to zoom in)

The location? A studio? Nope. I took the photos in my room's veranda. Grey and her sister, Gretle went to my place at around 3:00pm. I started taking photos at around 5:00pm after all the preparations (make up etc.) and chikahan (catching up). I took advantage of the sun's position in the sky during that time which was directly parallel to us. I asked Gretle to hold a diffuser (my big 5-in-1 reflector's diffuser) behind Grey, with the sun behind it. I metered at Grey's left cheek and overexposed by a stop, set the focus in her left eye and then started taking photos.

Here is a simple diagram of our setup:

Camera Settings: 1/200 1.8 85mm

At that time, the color temperature of the sun was a bit warm and gave the photos a reddish tint for I used the daylight white balance which I thought was ok but after a few adjustments when I was post-processing the photos, I ended up making the photos look colder, which I thought was perfect because Grey was wearing winter clothes.

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