In getting back to basic lighting, I attempted to create a ring flash effect with my tungsten lights. A ring flash, used in many glamour images, is used to create and even, flat complexion. I attempted to add reflectors to all sides and above and below my key lighting, which I did not diffuse. I did add an element of highlights to her hair from directly behind.
While there is a little more shadowing on Kristina’s face than I would’ve liked, I think the image came out balanced and the highlights added a nice halo effect to her hairline. I also shot this image at a high ISO setting of 1600, creating a grainy effect which adds a nice grading to the highlights in the image and her shadows.
Sometimes its good to get back to basics and refine your approach to things. When I recently sat down with Chelsea, I wanted to play around with exposure. Exposure is a balance of aperture and shutter speed, but your film speed also plays a factor. I had never used my ISO setting to alter my exposure in the past.
Usually I try to shoot with the smallest setting to capture as much fine detail as possible. This time I experimented by changing the ISO on my digital SLR and keeping the f stop at f/5 and the shutter speed at 1/25.
Using a simple setup, diffused key lighting and back lighting…and a bunch of reflectors, I was able to capture a clean complexion for this beauty shot of Chelsea. My ISO was set at 200 to allow for a decent shutter speed.
I altered my ISO to a much faster 800, keeping the aperture and shutter speed consistent. With my lighting, I was able to blow out Chelsea’s portrait in this second example and create contrast of light and dark, giving the portrait a much different feel. The light purple tone was created in post processing with a filter.
Of course you can accomplish a similar image by slowing the shutter speed or increasing the size of your aperture. I like the simplicity of the overexposed portrait and the gritty quality of the detail in the shadow lines.
When I started doing headshots, a lot of my inspiration came from old Hollywood. I have always been a fan of Audrey Hepburn and her classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” portrait.
For this headshot, I placed my keylight behind and to the left of the model to create almost a flare effect. I used a diffused fill opposite my keylight to fill in her features and create soft shadows along her profile.
makeup by Trinity Joy; gray dress by Banana Republic