Portraits with small light modifiers

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by nf1, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. nf1

    nf1 TPF Noob!

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    I've just finished a test of two small portable light modifiers for my blog and wanted to share the images I got. Constructive comments and critiques are welcome.

    Portable-Octabox-30cm-Portrait-1.jpg Portable-Octabox-30cm-Portrait-2.jpg Portable-Softbox-20x30cm-Portrait-1.jpg Portable-Softbox-20x30-Portrait-2.jpg

    The modifiers used are quite small and portable:
    The first two images are with 30 cm (12") Octabox.
    The second two are with 30x20 cm Softbox.


     
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  2. FKP007

    FKP007 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great for creating drama but horrible for creating a faltering image unless you do a proper retouch. Cross lighting with a harsh light is only going to exaggerate skin texture and imperfections. You need some serious dB on image 1. Image 3 and 4 don't do anything for me with 4 looking like on camera Flash. I often use contrasty lighting via square reflectors or grided dishes however I know when doing this the makeup has to be on point and the retouching must be strong. Also this kind of lighting should relate with the styling hair and makeup along with model expression and posture. Soft possing doesn't work.

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  3. Ornello

    Ornello TPF Noob!

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    I am not sure what you are trying to do. Make good portraits or just do something quick and easy? These are quite poor. If you want good examples of portraits, look here:

    hurrell - Google Search

    Be sure to look only at the ones by Hurrell!

    “The most essential thing about my style was working with shadows to design the face instead of flooding it with light” George Hurrell.

    http://in1.ccio.co/O3/o/pC/32394e0602c6d50b06a779d94aac29eb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  4. nf1

    nf1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback but please take into consideration that for these I got to use only small light modifiers (20-30cm in size) not my 60" umbrella or softbox. The lack of post processing is intentional as I wanted to demonstrate to quality of the light. Perhaps I could've done some on the skin though. @FKP007 fully agree that such small lights are good for drama or backlight, thanks for the tip on stronger and more dramatic expression as well - I completely forgot about that and I shouldn't have. What do you mean by "serious dB"? Sorry not familiar with the abbreviation.

    If you do have suggestions regarding how to better utilise such reflectors (light setup, framing or else - I'm all up for it :), but please don't suggest swapping the reflectors for larger ones.
     
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  5. FKP007

    FKP007 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dodge and burn...for retouching.

    Small light sources are great however like mentioned try and get the posing expression and styling to work also with the quality of light. Here is an example where i used a square reflector and grid.

    [​IMG]


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  6. Ornello

    Ornello TPF Noob!

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    Excellent, although I prefer the main light from the viewer's left.

    http://www.filmnoirblonde.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Joan-Crawford-shot-by-George-Hurrell.jpg
     
  7. FKP007

    FKP007 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Makes no difference really.

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  8. nf1

    nf1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the example, it is great! Can you share what is the light modifier used for this? Did you used a reflector or backlight left and behind of the model?
     
  9. Ornello

    Ornello TPF Noob!

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  10. FKP007

    FKP007 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Traditional it maybe but like I said it makes no difference really. In reality the key should be set according the subjects face (best side) largest eye, features etc.

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  11. Ornello

    Ornello TPF Noob!

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    It looks weird the other way.
     
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  12. FKP007

    FKP007 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's weird you think that...some amazing fashion, beauty and traditional portraits out there that have the key camera right...don't think it makes the work look weird.

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