Flavor of the Month - Low Key Lighting Self Portrait

kundalini

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I know what I'm not happy about and will not make any excuses. Here's your chance to tear me a new a$$ho!e.


i-hRrfsxb-XL.jpg




Thanks for looking.

Comments welcome and critique appreciated.
 

Derrel

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Thank goodness you're not sitting on the toilet, or naked from the waist down and from the waist up, and covering your junk up with your hat in this shot...that hot light hitting the edge of the eye socket and the nose...I dislike that one small flaw quite a bit...other than that, it makes you look like a fine young man!!! Oh, and I would crop off some of the left-hand side...there's just too much dead space there...the image looks more dynamic with a taller, more-slender proportion to it, IMO.
 

cgipson1

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Nice shot! A bit brighter than I like for low key... but you definitely got good background separation! :) Cool hat! I can never carry those damn things off! lol!
 
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kundalini

kundalini

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...that hot light hitting the edge of the eye socket and the nose...I dislike that one small flaw quite a bit...other than that, it makes you look like a fine young man!!!
Bingo! and thanks.

I'm hoping to get my background over to the house this week too. That was another annoyance, some sloppy post work to clean up.

Very nice self portrait but I wouldn't call this low key. :D
Okay, what would you call it?

Cool hat! I can never carry those damn things off! lol!
Thanks. I'm not sure I can pull it off, but I like my lids.



Anyone else? I'll be having another go this again this week. Could really use some feedback. You can't bruise my ego....... there's just too much of it already. :biggrin:

BTW, this was a 4 light setup.

Thanks again.
 

Big Mike

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Very nice self portrait but I wouldn't call this low key. :D
That's odd.

Most of the time, when someone thinks they have high key or low key, they are just over or under exposed shots.
This one, on the other hand, is exactly what I would call low key. The clothing is dark, to match the dark background....that's pretty much the definition of low key.

As for what I think of the shot...I have to agree with Derrel, it's a small problem that the highlights from the accent light are too hot...but it really stands out.
Also, the tiny bit of hair that we can see out below the hat...might have been better if that was tucked behind.

Also, the more I look at it...I wonder what it might look like without the accent light on the right (your left). It's nice in that it gives separation and fills out your forum. But I'm thinking that it might have more mood if you let that side fade into shadow.

Lastly, the eyes look a tad dark.
 
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kundalini

kundalini

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Also, the more I look at it...I wonder what it might look like without the accent light on the right (your left). It's nice in that it gives separation and fills out your forum. But I'm thinking that it might have more mood if you let that side fade into shadow.
I was using a 10"x36" strip box (it was already assembled) on camera right and had a hard time with it reflecting off the leather. I'll try something else next time like a reflector to still pull out some faint details but less than this shot. Thanks.

Did you have a grid on your key?
Yes.... 30° grid on a 7" reflector. 10° wasn't enough so next time may have a go with a 20° grid. TBH, I was getting tired of the up and down of the session.
 

jaicatalano

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I like the dead space. I do agree with Derrel that the hot spot on the eye isn't appealing.
 

jamesbjenkins

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I know what I'm not happy about and will not make any excuses. Here's your chance to tear me a new a$$ho!e.


Thanks for looking.

Comments welcome and critique appreciated.

IMO, the left side of your face is underexposed, but maybe you were trying to do that. I really like the general idea, I just think the lighting setup needs to be tweaked so the hat is an asset instead of a liability. If it was my shot, I'd put more light on your face, maybe a catchlight for your eyes, or a strobe with a gridded softbox...

Please post your next attempt!
 

DiskoJoe

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You could have centered yourself a bit better. But lighting is not too bad.
 

Derrel

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Thanks so much for putting this lighting diagram up. I'd like to suggest that there is one very simple yet absolutely critical missing piece of equipment. I have a number of them, and have used other brands before for lots of in-studio portraits. I have suggested this accessory to people who are involved with studio lighting, just exactly because of the issue you ran into with the gridded light used as an accent.

Speedotron Products Accessories

it is the Speedotron Snap-on Mylar Diffuser for 7 inch reflectors. It has three spring-steel clips that hold it on. Here is a photo of one, with light being "pumped through" it. im_62714.jpg

Y
eah, you can add a grid, but when it comes in at that "steep" of an angle, the light will be EXTREMELY hot and "specular"...when the light is moved to a more right-angle angle of incidence in relation to the camera's line of sight, the same amount of power will create much less specularity. Looking at the the diagram, if the back light is reading f/5.6 and the main is f/7.1, a 7 inch reflector ( a very small source, BTW) with a 30 degree grid is going to "burn out" any skin that has any sheen at all on it. You absolutely,positively, need to add a diffuser in front of the grid...you will literally, almost not be able to believe the difference it makes!

Also, using a bigger reflector, like an 11.5 incher with 50 degree beam instead, then fitted with a grid, and a diffuser, and some barn doors, will make the light about 2.7x larger in area, and significantly softer at the 66-inch indicated distance. A 7 inch diffuser will have an area of 38.48 square inches. An 11.5 inch diffuser will have an area of 103.87 square inches. QUITE a significant difference.


 

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