How it was Done 2

Here goes another “How it was Done” Post

This is the setup for the image that I use for the header of my page. I took this middle of last year and hopefully it again shows how you can get good results without much of a studio or too much equipment.

Equipment Used: Portable Backdrop Kit x 1, 500W Electra Compact Flash with barn doors  x 1, Superclamp x 1,  Nikon SB80DX Speedlite x 1, Nikon D70s with 18-70mm Lens x 1, Remote shutter release x 1, Tripod x 1.

Shot 1: This is my lounge complete couches, bookcases and even folded washing stacked randomly around. I did move one couch so I had enough room to set up the portable backdrop kit across the room so i could hang the studio light off it pointing directly down and then used the barn doors to create a circle of light on the floor.

With shots like this I usually use something like a chair to act as a reference for focusing the camera.

Lens at 28mm f3.5 at 1/8 second without flash going off.

Shot 2: Same shot as before but with the camera lens shut down to f18 and at 1/125th of a second. Using a reasonably fast shutter speed with studio or speedlites means that anything not in the direct light will be much darker.  Even though you can see some of the surrounding things in the room these will be easy to remove in Photoshop later.

Shot 3: Enter the model (me). Using the remote shutter control with the camera set to 2 second delay I fired off a couple of shots to see how the lighting looked. I was pretty unhappy with the result since it left no light in the face when I had the hood up. Apart from this the general feel of the spotlight effect was pretty good.

Shot 4: I added a speedlite to the shot which was set off by the main strobe and set it to half power. This fixed the problem with their being no light on the face while still maintaining the spotlight effect.

Shot 5: After checking the lighting on my computer I decided it was “Go Time”. Since this was a dark and dramatic lighting situation I tried to put as much tension into the pose as possible (the way the shoulders are held and the was the hands are clasped). The remote is palmed in my left hand so you cant see it and the speedlite held in place by my feet and legs. It wasnt the most comfortable pose that’s for sure, with any movement making the speedlite move and have to be repositioned.

This shot was the best of the ones I took. All up with the test shots I took around 140 images.

Shot 6: Ok I now have the image I want so its off to process in Lightroom.

Corrections Made: Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Vignette (to remove more of the background), Desaturation and Black Clipping (again mostly to remove the background).

As you can see this still isn’t perfect, especially with the light stand in the right of the frame.

Shot 7: Final Image.

From Lightroom into Photoshop to remove the last few bits of background and generally tidy things up and then a quick crop and Done!

Final Image Nikon D70s with 18-70mm lens. f18 at 1/125 second



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