I like taking portraits, whether it be of people, or animals. It’s a challenge to get someone to relax in front of the camera. Animals, well, they just don’t seem to care after a few good sniffs of the lens.
As I had not taken out the flashes, etc, for a while, I had to go buy some fresh batteries so as not to have the flashes die in the middle of the session. In the end, I used only one flash with an umbrella. That’s it.
My friend, James, pictured here, asked me to take some photos of him for his Linked In and various purposes. I agreed. I set up a white background, clam shell lighting (one umbrella at about 45 degree angle on each side), and a stool. The pictures were a bit stilted and stiff. I think that is a factor of just sitting on a stool and having your photo taken. You tend to ‘pose’ and have on a stiff smile. The stool wasn’t working.
I happened to notice the light shining in the dining room, moved some stuff off of the table, and had James lean on the table. It was an immediate difference. He relaxed, started smiling, and the shoot went very well. Most of the photos that he really liked were taken like that. We also went outside and took some in natural light with just a hint of fill flash from the umbrella. It’s all a matter of what’s comfortable, and obviously, he prefers to stand and chit chat.
It’s cool to see what you can do with a single flash, blending light, trying to come up with a decent portrait. It was a successful evening, I’d say.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been wielding the iPhone, but it felt good to get back behind the D700!