Back Modifications (4)
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By harryw  
Used desk lamp with cardboard snood to achieve Rembrandt lighting style, like a constant light so you can see what you are getting compared to flash.

Tags: General Black and white Portraits and people Flash and lighting

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optik 13 15 1 England
2 Jan 2015 8:18AM
very dramatic
RLF Plus
12 18 4 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2015 8:36AM
Amazing clarity....I'm off in search of cardboardWink
IainHamer Plus
17 26 6 England
2 Jan 2015 9:47AM
Nice shot well lit. Studio flashes have modelling lamps so the photographer CAN see the effect before the flash goes off.


mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2015 9:57AM
I like your use of negative space. One small quibble though, I would like the eyes to be a little lower in the frame. There's no need to show tops of heads, but the top of the frame looks cramped here, it's bearing down on him. This is one instance where the rule of thirds does work - eyes placed one third down in the frame will be on a level with the viewer's eyes.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2015 10:08AM
Modification uploaded to illustrate my comment above, I'll be interested in your thoughts. The proportions work better for me.

I should have said - if this is cropped from a larger image it would be interesting to see that frame for comparison.
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4332 Canada
2 Jan 2015 2:34PM
Its very nicely done Harry.

Since Ive been fortunate to come along after you uploaded the original, theres is another way to place the eyes on a third without losing the head. Thats to add space below the subject, which, since we are dealing largely with black, is a simple task.

Ive done that in the mod I uploaded. One more comment, - the lighting is very harsh, as expected. Combine this with aggressive sharpening, and it becomes more harsh. So consider less sharpening, or, as in the case of the mod, reducing sharpening busing a slight blur. I also brightened a little at the same time.

Hope this is helpful, and happy new year.


harryw 16 80 1 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2015 3:39PM

Many thanks, I like the idea of extending the bottom, will go with that, everyone overlooked the easy answer.
It's very subjective, some say there is too much head and needs a harsh crop so it was not just about getting the eyes on a third, I guess I have to decide what I want after listening to everyone's advice and stick with it.

dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
2 Jan 2015 5:41PM
Nothing constructive to add: an excellent and characterful shot.

It just goes to show what you can do with a single, cheap lamp...
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2015 9:54PM
I like it almost exactly as it is. Very strong male portrait. I just find the skin tones a tiny bit muddy? Us it up just me? It is minimal, but I might just lift the brightness a touch.

I realise what you were replicating, and you probably have, so my feelings are totally personal.

mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
3 Jan 2015 1:17PM
Thanks for the excellent feedback. Your 'middle option' modification works best for me, along with Willie (banaehawi)'s mod.

It's about finding a balance - placement that is comfortable for the viewer's eye, so that we feel we are settling into a good conversation, but still giving an edginess, a sense of questions not yet answered. That's when portraiture works best.

Worth looking at the portrait work of the late, wonderful Jane Bown.

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