Breaking the rules.

………..yeah.

Pretty ironic title for me as my wife will tell you that I’m a stickler for the rules. To be fair though I don’t mind breaking a few in photography. It’s my art……..my rules. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this or that as it doesn’t follow the rules of photography. How would they know your artistic vision? I’ve seen a lot of squabbling online over various technicalities over the years. I stay out of it, and I do……….exactly what makes me happy.

So what photography crime have I committed I hear you ask?

Don’t worry it’s nothing too bad……….perish the thought.

I sometimes shoot beauty images with the Canon 17-40L.

I know…………………serious rule breaker.

Why would you choose this wide lens for portraiture?

Why not?

 

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Okay well let me tell you WHY instead.

I light images like this with the large beauty dish. The dish is boomed directly out in front of the subject’s face and tilted down at a fairly shallow angle. I use the sock on it for extra diffusion (I absolutely love the light when modified like this) and I place some white foam core at chest height to fill the shadows. The dish is placed extremely close to the subject at approximately the same distance as the diameter of the modifier itself. So the 22 inch beauty dish is placed at a distance of roughly 22 inches. This is a pretty tight working space as I’m sure you’ll agree. The wide lens comes into it’s own here allowing me to shoot from directly under the beauty dish (with the lens hood literally touching the bottom edge of the dish) now I know this might not be for everyone but it certainly works for me.

A couple of things to note here though in case you were thinking of trying this technique would be to be very careful with keeping the plane of the lens level or flat to the subject………wide lenses can cause a lot of distortion if angled incorrectly and we don’t really want that…..well……unless it’s intentional of course.

The last tip is regarding the lighting. By booming the beauty dish out directly in front in this manner you can adjust the height of the light up and down which in turn will give you deeper or shallower shadows under the nose, lip and chin. Adjust to your own personal taste. It’s easy and effective. This image of Ava was shot against a painted white wall at home.

I hope you like the image and the technique.

I’m getting back to my rule following reality now.

Until next time.

 

 

Getting creative with the lighting.

“Slice” featuring Rue Moriah

Creative Fashion Beauty Headshot

I love to experiment with lighting during my model shoots and I’d wanted to try this technique out that I’d seen used by the master Joel Grimes for a while.

It’s a relatively simple lighting setup but hopefully you’ll agree that the results are quite striking.

The first step is to get the backlight right. In this case the background is a large octabox placed directly behind the subject’s head. You have to bring the power up just enough but not too much as to blow out the highlights. A good way to check this is to enable the highlight alert on your camera (the blinkies) or if shooting tethered it’s easy to check the highlight clipping on the histogram in Lightroom. Simple trial and error will get you to the right place in just a couple of shots. I particularly like the way light wraps around the subject’s face as a result of this.

Nest step is to establish the main light. For this I’ve used a Godox speedlight inside a Rogue grid to create a tight beam of light. To make it even tighter I fashioned a slit over the front of the grid using two pieces of cardboard and some tape (I wanted that beam of light to be really tight)! I boomed this light directly in front and aimed down at Rue’s face and adjusted it until we got it right.

The black and white edit was intentional to really emphasise the contrast.
I hope you like the image.

Joel’s video on the subject is most definitely worth a watch and can be viewed here

Stay safe.

Andy.

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com  

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.