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Light as story teller

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Light as story teller



A lot of you probably already know that I’m always teaching my students not to only create good light but also try to add something different to a picture, I call this “story telling”. During the New York workshops I hit the jackpot by shooting the almost perfect example.

One of my students, a really nice guy with an open face (friendly) stood in front of my camera during the part of the workshops where I shoot some head shots from the students to let them experience what it means to be in front of the camera.

I will use whatever light is available for these shots and in this case it was only a varistar wide reflector for the Elinchrom, they already packed all the rest of the gear. It’s actually only meant for the realization what a model goes through in front of the camera, if we end up with something the students can use that’s an added plus 😀

By angling it I got it to create a nice vignette on the background, but… the light was relatively high up, no problem for the purpose of this segment, but when step a bit too close something “funky” happens, a lot of contrast in the face.

Normally you end up with a deletion of the shot and ask the subject to stand one step further away, but in this case……

Workshops 5thfloor NY Headshots 29-30 August 2014  (70 of 100)-Edit

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Using the sun in the shot

Yesterday we looked at using the sun as the main lightsource, but today we take it one step further.
When using strobes (and even without) you can really play with including the sun into the shot, in the next series I used the Elinchrom Ranger RX to fill in the model while using the sun (in the frame) as a strong backlight and creating some interesting lens flares.

 

In these shots I also lowered the brightness of the sky to make it more dramatic, you can do this with a lot of power like the Elinchrom Ranger RX, but also with speed lights and the use of HSS (HighSpeedSync). As long as you lower the brightness of the sky in comparison to the strobe output.

 

Now we could of course just shoot Marie posing and rely on a great model, cool clothing and great light… but that’s not what the viewer will remember in the end. One of the most important things in a shot for me is the inclusion of a story, this can be done with adding props, sets etc. but also very simple by just giving some extra attention to the pose like you can see here.

Marie November 21 2013-74-EditIt can be just as simple as this, but as you can see when you see the rest of the shots, this image really tells a story while the other ones are just…. well nice. So the next time you’re on location try to not be afraid of the sun and give some extra attention to the posing of the model and lift your shot from ok to WOW.

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Retouched image from Nadine

A while ago Pascal and I got in contact via social media.
I liked his work and he liked mine so it was not long before I send him an image to play with, in this blog post the result and a small story by Pascal himself. Hope you guys like the result.

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