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Photo Analysis
Portrait Advice Wanted Please...
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Sep 26, 2016 11:09:19   #
Ponz
 
My favorite shoots are landscapes and nature. It's been quite a while since I've done any portrait work. I have a portrait shoot ion a couple of weeks and would like some sage advice. I'll be shooting a few military uniformed men and women. I've attached an example of whet they are looking for as an end result. I just purchased a posing stool, table, and stretchable gray backdrop. I'll be using my Nikon D810 and 24-70 f/2.8. I'm hoping I don't need longer than 70mm. I have a pair of nice BOWENS Gemini GM500Rs, a softbox, umbrellas, light stands, etc.....

I have the proper equipment (I believe). Judging from the attached pic, would someone tell me how the lighting was set up please? It appears equal both left and right.

Ponz


 
Sep 26, 2016 11:19:15   #
WoodnMetalGuy
 
I'm guessing three lights. Large softbox or equivalent from subject's right, higher than the head. Rim light from subject's left rear. Light behind subject shooting onto the backdrop. Possibly a reflector on subject's left to lighten shadows on that side of face? -- Dave
Sep 26, 2016 11:47:56   #
rpavich (a regular here)
 
judging by the catch lights in his eyes (only one it looks like) there was a large softbox or something to camera left 45 deg up and then a hair light to camera right behind him and a third light on the backdrop only.
Sep 26, 2016 12:02:28   #
Apaflo (a regular here)
 
Ponz wrote:
I have the proper equipment (I believe). Judging from the attached pic, would someone tell me how the lighting was set up please? It appears equal both left and right.

You will need to experiment a little to get the light ratios right. Look at the shadows to see where the main light is. Then consider how soft the shadows are and how much fill and from what direction to prevent harshness. Then look for bright areas showing the location of other lights.

There is a light high up at camera left, casting 45 degree angle shadows from his nose and on the cuff of his arm sleeve. That is the main light and is probably a large softbox. There is a fill light on camera right at a lower angle that may also be a softbox or could be a huge reflector. See the shiny area on the camera right side of his head for probably another light, that might be up high also and may not be diffused. Plus a light on the background.

Another thing is that there is no glass in his glasses, and therefore no reflections.

Consider basic Rembrant Lighting such as this example, with creative modifications if you can come up with some extra monolights. The background light can even be a speedlight, with gels or other modifiers. While the Main and Fill lights probably need as much diffusion as possible, consider a hair light and two side lights that have snoots and narrow grids which at fairly low power can add just enough to outline the subject with highlights on both sides.

Whatever you choose do spend some time with a test model standing in and have it all worked out well enough for a smooth shoot with the real subjects.
Sep 26, 2016 12:03:30   #
Thomas902
 
Like WoodnMetalGuy said…
In this example scenario the Key is high on Camera left (notice the shadow under the jaw/chin)
Fill is likely by large reflector just out of frame camera right.
There is a “Kicker’ from behind (camera left) proving rim illumination on the left side of the subject’s head and it is spilling to rim the left arm.

The challenge here is reflections off the subject’s glasses… possibly removed in post?
Also the even illumination of the flag (without shadows) is going to be a bear… unless this was green screened and the flag dropped in via post.

As for focal length? In my humble estimation 70mm is a tad short on a FX sensor, and would make the hands (closer than the face) to appear overly large… My choice would be the 135mm f/2 DC or the 105mm f/2 DC lens both are legendary for this type of portraiture… At a minimum bring a 70-200mm just in case…

Also bring black flags and cutters to kill flare and control shadows…
This is a fine art since your eye will not reveal what the D810 sensor records.

I’ve assisted on so many of this type of commercial assignment here are some thoughts to help achieve a high level of excellence…

Bring a pack of rice blotter paper (powder coated) and have each talent blot their T-Zone. Since males are unaccustomed to having makeup applied simply demonstrate on yourself and send them off to the men’s room if they are uneasy about this… Trust me it will kill shine on the forehead nose and chin… far more effective than the most defused softbox could hope to achieve…

Posing the hands are pivotal to success here… again demonstrate since these gentlemen are not agency models thus aren’t accustom to being moved about like manikins… While a clenched fist is masculine believe a soft hand is in order for this visual statement (however) verify with the client and/or their creative director here. Whatever is decided always have the hand sideways to minimize it’s dominance in the image… Notice in your go-by the left hand is even obscured by the right… the takeaway here is be certain to not let the hand divert attention to the face (small narrow soft being good and the smaller narrower and softer the better)

Final thoughts? Have you consider retaining a lighting assistant? It is a pass through expense and can take your efforts and perceived worth entirely to the next level…

Hope this helps…
Please enjoy your session Ponz …
Sep 26, 2016 12:32:04   #
Ponz
 
Now you guys have me frightened...I'm really not in a position to purchase any more equipment, even though I've been longing for a 70-200. All I have is the 24-70 and a 150-600.

Ponz
 
Sep 26, 2016 12:47:18   #
AP
 
Ponz wrote:
My favorite shoots are landscapes and nature. It's been quite a while since I've done any portrait work. I have a portrait shoot ion a couple of weeks and would like some sage advice. I'll be shooting a few military uniformed men and women. I've attached an example of whet they are looking for as an end result. I just purchased a posing stool, table, and stretchable gray backdrop. I'll be using my Nikon D810 and 24-70 f/2.8. I'm hoping I don't need longer than 70mm. I have a pair of nice BOWENS Gemini GM500Rs, a softbox, umbrellas, light stands, etc.....

I have the proper equipment (I believe). Judging from the attached pic, would someone tell me how the lighting was set up please? It appears equal both left and right.

Ponz
My favorite shoots are landscapes and nature. It'... (show quote)


Fine portrait, Ponz! One point to mention is your camera lens used. If you use a lens longer 70mm, the subjects hand would be
smaller in size than shown, a more natural image. Lighting is fine, high left frontal soft bank. A important value is the white light dot in the eye. You made that capture. Most do not pay attention to that white dot. We have only one sun one light, one white dot on the eye!

You only showed one portrait of the captain, I'm sure you have others. His captain's hat is important. Hope you made a photo of him wearing the hat and one of the hat with him on posing table.

No complains from your well expressed portrait, good job well done with fine lighting pleasing sharpness showing skilled exposure. AP
Sep 26, 2016 12:56:50   #
ebbote (a regular here)
 
I think it is a very good portrait Ponz.
Sep 26, 2016 13:38:34   #
Ponz
 
Guys - I did not take this picture. This is what I need to duplicate.

Ponz
Sep 26, 2016 13:53:45   #
AP
 
Ponz wrote:
Guys - I did not take this picture. This is what I need to duplicate.

Ponz


You mislead all of us. We took our time to respond to your photo shown. Did you have permission to use the photo of
the Navy Captain ? I now see you are a biginner in the field of photography.

Students spend thousands of dollars to go to school and learn. You were giving FREE Instruction that fooled us all, you are disrespectful towards all of us, shame, shame, on you! US Navy Seabee MCB-8 Vietnam Veteran 1966-68 disabled. AP
Sep 26, 2016 13:58:13   #
GoofyNewfie (a regular here)
 
AP wrote:
You mislead all of us. We took our time to respond to your photo shown. Did you have permission to use the photo of
the Navy Captain ?


I was not mislead-- just gotta read his first post.
If he shot it, why would he be asking what was used?
 
Sep 26, 2016 13:58:59   #
WoodnMetalGuy
 
AP - I don't understand what you're upset about. The first post clearly states that it's an example photo that he is going to attempt to recreate, and is looking for some advice in doing so. In my opinion the original poster neither attempted to mislead, nor did mislead anyone who was paying attention, and was not disrespectful to anyone. -- Dave
Sep 26, 2016 14:20:59   #
Ponz
 
AP wrote:
You mislead all of us. We took our time to respond to your photo shown. Did you have permission to use the photo of
the Navy Captain ? I now see you are a biginner in the field of photography.

Students spend thousands of dollars to go to school and learn. You were giving FREE Instruction that fooled us all, you are disrespectful towards all of us, shame, shame, on you! US Navy Seabee MCB-8 Vietnam Veteran 1966-68 disabled. AP


Stop the presses there AP. Please re-read my opening post where I stated, "I've attached an example of whet they are looking for as an end result. "

Ponz
Sep 26, 2016 15:25:13   #
AP
 
Ponz wrote:
Stop the presses there AP. Please re-read my opening post where I stated, "I've attached an example of whet they are looking for as an end result. "

Ponz


I have reread your post. The photo shown is quite rewarding. According to your writing you stated you: "I've attached an example" - you did not say this was not your made photo.

So, I assumed, you wanted others to tell you how you set the fine lighting shown. Since you did not make the fine photo of the Navy Captian. Did you get permission from the photographer to use his/her photographic or by the Navy Captain ?

Thomas902, gave much attention to the photograph example shown by you. Was Thomas 902 mislead ? Once again, much information was forwarded to you.

Writing is not easy. There are many who have a english degree, but have not written a book! One has to make sure the reader has to understand what the writer wrote. You still are a misleading writer showing a misleading photo not made by you. AP
Sep 26, 2016 15:37:14   #
Ponz
 
AP wrote:
I have reread your post. The photo shown is quite rewarding. According to your writing you stated you: "I've attached an example" - you did not say this was not your made photo.

So, I assumed, you wanted others to tell you how you set the fine lighting shown. Since you did not make the fine photo of the Navy Captian. Did you get permission from the photographer to use his/her photographic or by the Navy Captain ?

Thomas902, gave much attention to the photograph example shown by you. Was Thomas 902 mislead ? Once again, much information was forwarded to you.

Writing is not easy. There are many who have a english degree, but have not written a book! One has to make sure the reader has to understand what the writer wrote. You still are a misleading writer showing a misleading photo not made by you. AP
I have reread your post. The photo shown is quite ... (show quote)


The attached phot was given to me by one of the officers I am going to photograph. She gave it to me as "an example" of what she is looking for. I also went on to question how you guys thought the lighting was set up for the attached example. I'm sorry if all of this eluded you.

I am finished apologizing to you, since you are the only one who insists on continuously misreading my post and casting unfounded accusations.
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