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More portraits

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by jjdesanto1, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    In my never-ending quest to improve my portraiture technique, I ventured all the way across the street to set up my portable studio and take pictures of the neighbors' kids. It was a dark and rainy Saturday and the house was crawling with five of the little rugrats - seven when if you include my two - when I showed up to take shots in the dining room. Balls and airplanes were flying everywhere and twice I had to reach out to steady a toppling lightstand, but I think - all things considered - it worked out okay.

    I'm determined to figure this stuff out, therefore, critiques are not only welcome, but encouraged!

    Here are the best three:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 17370

    View attachment 17371
  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Very engaging eye contact John. Isn't working in the field exciting? :rolleyes: 

    The confrontational look of the girl in the first is great, and the boy in #2 looks wise beyond his years, but the boy and his mon really run away with this set.
  3. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    Nice shots
  4. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    Thanks, guys

    I appreciate the comments.

    The girl in the first pix wasn't happy to be posing because I had interrupted her and her friend IMing on the computer.

    The boy was just as unhappy, because he was playing with two buddies, but he took direction much better.

    In the third shot, he just didn't want to sit still. I took the first one, he ran off, his mom had to call him back for this shot and one more, and then he was gone!

    It clearly wasn't the best situation but it was good experience.
  5. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Hi JJ. I still think you don't have the right main to fill ratio. Needs to be 3:1 or 4:1. Yours look like they're 1:1. The pose of the girl in #1 is very different, but her head sort'a looks somehow detached from her body. Pose 2 is cute! Light's pretty harsh is #3.
    You might want to read this article: http://www.vividlight.com/articles/412a.htm
    Her's a smal excerpt from it:
    "A good starting point is to set the main light about 45 degrees from the camera to subject axis and raise it higher than the subject's head. "
    "Your fill light should be about three or four times weaker than your main light. This will keep you in the neighborhood of a normal portrait lighting ratio of about 3:1 or 4:1. A 3:1 ratio means that the difference between the main light and the fill light will be about 1 2/3 stops. A 4:1 ratio will be a 2-stop difference.

    Position the fill light at camera level or slightly higher. Avoid lowering the fill light below camera height, as it will create an unnatural effect on the model's face."
  6. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    Thanks Steve

    That's exactly the type of information I was looking for.

    I'll read the article and dial down that fill flash on my next attempt.

    Thanks again!
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