Moody lighting: Self Portrait


Flirtacious and Bodacious
Supporting Member
Feb 5, 2004
Reaction score
North Central Illinois
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ok, so I've been wanting to get better at using lighting situations to create moody or dramatic portraits. Unfortunatly, I didn't have anyone to practice on tonight but me! :lol:

The only light source is the street lamp outside. ISO 400, shutter speed 1/6th of a second, aperature 1.8 (50mm).

I know this could have been was INCREDIBLY difficult to focus, so I know it could be sharper. Other than that, any critiques or comments?

You look really really troubled here.
I hope you only worried about the outcome of your self-portrait session and about whether focus and light would be all right!
Other than that I must say: especially the light looks quite right for non-too-happy portraits.
MommyOf4Boys said:
You look so sad, like you just lost your puppy this what you looked like before you boarded your plane-leaving dc? LOL

Oh, no, I looked much worse than that! :lol:
Thanks...I think I'm gonna have to figure out something a lot different in order to make this into a really good shot...I'm not happy with the tonal range at all, and I don't like it in color AT ALL. Because of the light source, my lips look purple, and all the other colors look funky, matter what I do in PS, I can't seem to make it look right. :S
Karalee said:
Holy hell woman :lol: kudos to you for getting a clear pic in the first place :thumbup: :thumbup: your a brave girl for going down that low. was either that or hike up my ISO, and I didn't wanna do that.
Don't cry Corry!!! :hugs:

Great emotion - looks to me like you got the focus spot on. Great lighting too. My only slight critique would be that you've only got three fingers.

Hehe...thanks Rob. I think I want to try it again at some point to get better tonal range...but I'm just not sure what exactly I need to change in order to do it. I don't want it to be grainy, so I'd prefer not to hike the ISO. I shot in RAW, and tried it in all the different WB settings, but NONE seemed right. On everyone of them the colors didn't look even close to right. I'm thinking I just might not be able to shoot it with that particular light source..unfortunately, I'm on the 2nd story and I live on main street above businesses, so it's not like I can set up another light source outside the window! :lol:
What software are you using for your RAW processing? First thing, shoot a grey card in that lighting at the start of the session, then you'll have a clean 18% grey to do custom white balancing in post production. On this one, you've got the right idea, but you're spot on--the tonal range sucks because it's massively underexposed, even at those low shutter speeds. Juice the ISO up to at least 1600...the grain will only emphasize that moody feel, especially in b/w.
I missed this one before! Great expression, Corry.

I agree with Shark - I think for the mood you're after, grain is not going to be an issue. :)

Any chance you could just shoot film? You could so easily push a 400 B&W to 3200 here, which would give you so much more control. The grain will suit the mood, and tonal values would not be an issue.

Most reactions

New Topics