Back Modifications (6)
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The working man

By ianrobinson  
This was done in my new studio that i put up today and tested.
I use 400 watt bowen flash lights with umbrella attached put either side of the subject, one light is placed slightly higher than the other. and one has a one stop higher exposer to hopefully give more shadow detail on one side of the face, just enough to give the features of the face some detail and definition.
i placed the lights at the same height as model and faced lights directly at model.

Can any one tell me if i am doing the right things for portraits in the studio please, and is this image good enough for a portrait to sell to a customer.

thank you for your input it will be highly valued.


Tags: Flash and lighting

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


andylea 8 37 1 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 8:04PM
great comp ian wonderful light super detail a belter have a great weekend Wink

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JackieB 6 18 3 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 8:23PM
Can't help you Ian, know nothing about lighting, studio work or portraiture, but from where I'm sitting it doesn't look bad for your first attempt. I wouldn't know where to begin. Well done

luckybry 6 3 Scotland
10 Jun 2011 8:56PM
grt shot but maybe a bit too much white in it Ian just my opinion hope you dont mind
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 9:05PM
Bryan thats why i put it in the critique section to get feedback of any kind so thank you for that and no i don't mind at all my friend.
Any help is good help as far as i am concerned.
Jestertheclown 8 7.4k 249 England
10 Jun 2011 9:07PM
I'm really no expert in this field and I'm sure someone much more qualified will be along in a minute but for what it's worth!
This is a bit bright and looking at it in levels, I'd say it's a touch over exposed, which is easily corrected using software although I rather think you'd prefer to have it come out right in the first place. Something I'm not really able to advise you upon.
Overall though, I don't think there's much wrong with it.
Would I pay for it if I was a customer?
With a slight adjustment and if it was in a style I was looking (and I do quite like the way you've done this), Yes, I reckon I would.
Hope this helps.
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 10:03PM
Have tried to help with a mod Ian, but with the colour I think that it is too bright and tried in levels to change and also in curves, all I can suggest here is that he is standing too close to the white b/g and has a cast of shadows, also changed into a mono as think maybe that is also a way to go here.
I have done studio portraits and it took 'forever' to get to grips with the lighting, and if this is a first you certainly are on the wayGrin
I look forward to seeing some of the others you did at the same time, maybe away from the b/g, and less shadow.
I hope that you are OK with this and the mods
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 10:04PM
thx Bren
I appreciate your comments.
when i took the shot my feed back from the high light alert in camera said it was ok, should i trust this then if it is over exposed.

banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3529 Canada
10 Jun 2011 10:09PM
The simple arrangement with 2 lights is to place a "fill light" over the camera position, shooting down at the model; the second, or "main" light should be at 45 degrees horizontally and vertically aligned with respect to the model and to one side, and should be set at a higher power or f stop than the fill light. The idea is to obtain a shadow from the nose thats visible, and falls to the oppotite side to the main light, and down, - as the main will be ABOVE the model (45 degrees)

In this shot, the face seems to be lit quite evenly, which I would expect from your set up. Try it as suggested and see that it makes a significant difference. Also make sure you check the white balance with your lights, - include a white or grey card in one shot and use this as a reference when processing the raw files, - apply the WB setting you get from the card shot to all other shots.

Loaded a quick sketch.


ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 10:10PM
Lillian they are very good especially the mono not thought to do this in mono so thanks for that.
i was advised for the subject to stand 6 feet away from bg and thats what ive done so no shadow is emitted on the bg only the floor, is this not acceptable to have a little soft shadow on the floor, if not how do i get no shadow on the floor.
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 10:17PM
Thx Willie i will definitely try that.
it the done thing then to have more shadow on one side of the face.

Jestertheclown 8 7.4k 249 England
10 Jun 2011 10:27PM
Hi Ian,

I've had another go at this and with hindsight, I don't think it is over exposed after all. Rather, it's just a little bright.
I've reduced the brightness just a touch and added more contrast by moving the left hand levels slider inwards, again just a touch, which has livened it up a bit. In fact, just clicking on "auto levels" might have done the trick.
The light alert in your camera is probably as trustworthy as any warning device will ever be so yes, you can probably rely upon it but I'd be inclined to just look upon it as a guide rather than a truly accurate opinion.
I'll upload a mod. but I'm not sure how well the changes will show up. There's not a huge difference.


Edit; I've also sharpened it in my mod. That's ot because I think your shot isn't sharp, it's because my mods. always seem to lose a little in the upload.
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 11:05PM
i like the mod bren your right it does seem to liven the model up some what with more clarity and colour.

ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 11:08PM
are the shadows acceptable on the ground for a portrait ?
chensuriashi Plus
10 240 17 England
11 Jun 2011 1:48PM
I would like to do this sort of thing too and will sooner or later...I think that you B/G is a bit off and people like the pure white B/G that I have put in my Mod, except the bit at the foot of the shot on the right...was a quick selection...I feathered it by 2pixels and blew it out, then went back to him, used a little curve adjustment, and sharpened just once...I thought that your version was just not bright enough for a print, but please remember I am just getting a little work now not a pro by any means just yet...This is how I would have presented this shot to the customer, but showing him both versions...letting him make up his mind. Thanks for sharing the shot. Chen.
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 9:28PM
how did you whiten the bg Chen, i like what you did there but need to know how you achieved that pure white bg.

Thx Ian.
ianrobinson Plus
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 9:44PM
thank you Frank and everyone for your help it is valuable to me to get good advise so thanks for your help.

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