How-To (/tutorial?!) Take Portraits Like ME 101!

Monday, December 12, 2011

So, I'm by no means a photographer. My interest lies more in makeup and.. well ME and photography is a tool that can greatly expand my creativity in regards to the mentioned above. I took photography classes a while ago because my friend forced me but the only thing I remember is one creepy guy who attempted to kiss me in front of my friends. lol



I guess I kind of have a signature style. I prefer to use "unnatural" light...   
*VERY PICTURE HEAVY*


So let's start! As listed in the "about us" section, I use a Canon T1I, mainly with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Lighting wise I use two continuous light stands with either white or silver umbrellas and/a ring light. You can buy all these light equipment off eBay or Amazon. Use the search terms "continuous light stand (kit)" or "ring light".

Click the photos for a larger view, if you'd like to see the EXIF data for these photos, view them from my Picasa web album (click a photo then "full details page").

I drew mini photos to show you some different light set ups I use. I'm still learning!

The black rectangle is my white background. The orange oval is THE SUBJECT. The silver things are UMBRELLAS (white/silver). Yellow circle is the RING LIGHT and the black oval is the TRIPOD WITH CAMERA.
I'll have two light stands, one of each side of the subject with the umbrella facing the subject. OR just one stand at either side. This style works with the white umbrella's and gives off a "soft effect". It's probably the more natural effect. You couldn't do this with the silver umbrella's because the light wouldn't be able to travel to the subject unless you have reflectors hitting the light to the subject!

Example(s):



These are just with one light source with varying distances from the subject (a.k.a me). I'm just starting to play around with my white umbrella's so I don't have many different examples of this style.
This is shot with the umbrella's insides face the subject, the light shooting at the umbrella's and reflecting on the subject. You can move these around, use only one...etc The sky's the limit! I use mostly silver umbrella's for this as I like the more intensive look.


The first few are using a white umbrella, afterwards the photos shown are used with the silver ones.

Examples:
The below are with silver umbrellas
  
Just a ring light! You can move the ring light around but I always attach mine to my tripod. This one is pretty simple, you can move it as close or as far from your subject as you'd like. I tend to go close since my ring light isn't very large. The great thing about ring lights is that it creates a very neat shadow around the subject, it's very faint because the light circles the subject and takes most shadow away. Put it far enough and you can get a 3d effect.

Examples:

 My newest favourite is using a ring light and an umbrella. I can move my ring light farther and still get a good light source from the umbrella. Note you can flip the umbrella so it looks like number two.


Examples:


I don't really use this technique anymore but it was my first adventure into different lights! A speedlight is attached to your camera! I used to hit the light off a reflector to hit the subject. Alternatively you can have the speedlight shooting right at the subject using a diffuser!

Examples:
 
 
 
So there you have it! Photoshop is also a great tool to have to not just re-size but fix any colours/blemishes/lenses..whatever, you know photoshop can do! There is also, of course, natural light! I  have pictures of those too but I'm tired! Maybe I'll re-edit them in.
Great resources are strobist.blogspot.com and flickr groups! Or just plain google!!

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