14 Feb 2016
I got to photograph a geisha for an assignment yesterday that involved props and a lot of makeup. The lighting was simple enough. Main light is a Nikon SB910 from camera right and about two feet higher than the model's head at 1/1.7th power bounced into a black backed umbrella. The background light was a Nikon SB700 at 1/64th power mounted on a really tiny light stand I got off Amazon which was flagged to stop spill onto the back of the model and faced sloped up towards the black background. I changed things up a bit by mounting a tungsten filter on the SB910 and setting the camera white balance to tungsten as well, which means the background light shows up a beautiful blue while all is perfectly normal with the light on the model.
5 Jan 2016
Another from the Sweeney Todd photo session.
Lighting the same as previous photo, i.e.:
I had my main light, a Nikon SB700 shooting through a 1/8 grid at 1/20th power from high to camera right, and to fill the shadows I shot a Nikon SB910 into a black backed umbrella at about 1/40th power to camera left and just about level with the camera's height. Both Speedlights were triggered wirelessly via Nikon's awesome CLS wireless triggering system.
3 Jan 2016
Took an interesting Sweeney Todd portrait yesterday that required a more "stage lighty" type look. Having worked on stage lighting many years ago I know that it can often be a little more hard and direct than we like in most photographic portraits. I had my main light, a Nikon SB700 shooting through a 1/8 grid at 1/20th power from high to camera right, and to fill the shadows I shot a Nikon SB910 into a black backed umbrella at about 1/40th power to camera left and just about level with the camera's height. Both Speedlights were triggered wirelessly via Nikon's awesome CLS wireless triggering system.
18 Dec 2015
A three light portrait with a Middle-Eastern style theme.
Three Nikon Speedlights used, one gridded from camera left as main, one snooted from camera right slightly behind the subject and higher, one through a brolly to camera right for slight fill. All controlled and fired via Nikon's excellent CLS wireless trigger system.
16 Nov 2015
Decided to try something a little more dramatic today and shot this film noir style portrait with a snooted Nikon SB 910 shooting from high camera right directed down to Ellie's face and a snooted Nikon SB 700 splaying some light onto the background from camera left and slightly lower than Ellie's head. Both Speedlights were triggered via Nikon's fantastic CLS wireless trigger system.
I am rather satisfied with the dramatic atmosphere of the portrait and I think it harks back quite well to the early Hollywood film noir movies.
8 Nov 2015
30 Sept 2015
2 Sept 2015
17 Sept 2014
2 Aug 2014
23 Jul 2014
Every time I shoot this gem of an 85mm lens it embeds itself more firmly as my favourite portrait lens regardless of whether I am shooting head and shoulders or full length portraits. (For full length I just stand further back...) This portrait was shot at f2.8 on my crop sensor Nikon D300s and the backgrounds are just wonderful!
It is also not at a ridiculous price point and would generally be within affordable reach of most people who spent much more than the price of this lens on a new Nikon dslr body anyway. The small(ish) expense is certainly worth the jump in IQ that it provides.
20 Jul 2014
The best way to improve your portrait photography is to invest in a Speedlight... or two, and a wireless trigger system to be able to fire those flashes off camera. I use a cheap but reliable Phottix Strato system combined with two Nikon Speedlights and it has never let me down. Just make sure to have the batteries fully charged before you start and keep some spares handy too.
In this shot I have a Nikon SB700 to camera right shooting through a 105cm white umbrella set to 1/16 power and behind the model I have a Nikon SB600 on 1/64 power with no light modifier at all. My camera is at 1/200s, f2.8, and iso 200, handheld. I hate trying to shoot portraits on a tripod preferring to be able to adjust to my subjects movements freely.
When you have a lot of lights and like to work in a studio set-up utilising at least three of those lights for portraits (sometimes more...) then it can be very liberating to get out into the open air and do some portraits on the streets of LA (affectionate term the locals give to our small town of Landskrona) and be restricted to using a simple single Speedlight set-up. I have a Nikon sb700 on a light stand shooting through an umbrella to camera right and a little higher than the subject. Everything is on fully manual for consistent control. The sb700 was set to 1/64th power and triggered wirelessly with a Phottix trigger system. Camera was set at 1/200s, f2.8, iso 400 and I used my favourite portrait lens, the Nikon 85mm f1.8. For good measure, here is a pull back shot of the scene showing the light firing:
29 Jun 2014
First off, my apologies for not posting a whole lot over the last few months, I have been busy with several new directions in my professional life and there just never seems to be time!
Today I had the pleasure of photographing my good friend Murtaza who needs a few portrait photographs for a series of interviews, websites and a news channel to display on-line and via television. He specialises in ground breaking techniques in treating drug addiction and it seems a lot of people are interested in what he has to say on the subject!
For the session I travelled light and did the "strobist" thing with two Nikon Speedlights balanced with ample beautiful soft window light streaming in through a large window. The window is to the left of camera, an SB-700 at 1/64th power is shooting through a large white umbrella to camera right and elevated somewhat higher than the subject, and finally an SB-600 at 1/16th power is shooting against the wall behind subject from it´s position on the floor. Of course I used my favourite go to lens for portraits, the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G which is a class piece of glass! The pic above was taken wide open at f1.8.