No pic - just a portrait question

tahmail

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I'm going to take some shots of a deal old friend that is in her mid 90's and would appreciate any insite on how to make them as flattering as possible for her. The shots will be indoors in close quarters. Any advice on angles, lighting etc.? I do not have any professional light systems but will use an SB800 on a Nikon D80. I'll probably try a 55mm prime, a 105 macro and a 12-24 W/A as they seem to be the best lenses I have for portrait work.

If I can get her outdoors, one thing I think would be memorable to her is having her favorite hiking mountain (Pikes Peak) as a back drop but I'd want it in a slight blur with it's destinctive shape recognizeable in the shot but still place the emphasis on her. Would a setting of about F6 accomplish that from a distance from her of about 8'?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

dpolston

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This is going to sound very strange... but, turn the flash around backwards. Totally behind you! Practice some on your kids, SO... dog, whoever. But that will diffuse the light to a back wall and cut down on the shadows.
 

cameramike

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im gonna backup with DP says, i've used this technique sometimes and it works, just be careful not to look up while taking the picture, it burns. try to just keep the shot soft not to hard on lighting
 

butterflygirl

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you could also use a Light Sphere by Gary Fong. His Web site is garyfong.com. It's great for diffusing the light and making it softer. I love it!
 

jstuedle

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Your SB-800 should have come with a milk colored plastic diffuser that snaps on the flash head. If you still have it, try DP's method, and also with the flash head pointing straight up. Play around with different methods with a test subject in a setting as close to what will be used at the shoot. You should be pleased with your results using the diffuser.
 

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