This is image #2 in this blog series I am writing. I explained the reason for this series in the first one but I want to add that this is my way of hopefully adding to good content online, some meat to the bones of internet photography that seems filled with a whole lot of quick fix bullet point lists and crap.
The image was made in a studio based in Liverpool, it was a different studio place than I was use to, and it’s an old house/shop. The studios name is Studio House, the couple that run it have some interesting ideas but allot of work needs doing.. That said you can still make images in that space. Not sure if it’s still running, can’t find a site for it.
For 80% of the shoot I shot natural light so the speedlites stayed in the bag.. Mostly.
Ok Gear Talk …
Canon EF 85 F1.8 USM @F4
Location: Studio House – In front of a window.
IS 6400 are you mad? Not really. Take look at the image, its high key and everything is push over to the right of the histogram. Believe me noise is not a problem when shooting this, sure you get some colour noise but luminance noise is pretty much none existent.
The light source was a window, that’s it no flash just window light. Now you can do this with a white or grey wall and use flash to blow it white but flash has a different feel than natural light and chances are with speedlites your flash might just have too good a duration to get any sense of motion.
I had Bethany stand in front of the window; the day was semi over cast so not a whole ton of light in camera speak.
I knew I wanted F4 – 5.6 with the 85 on a full frame camera to give me enough Depth of Field to work with, I also wanted 500th or faster on my shutter speed and that meant ISO 6400… ok so be it. Frankly I don’t care about noise generally and here’s why… if the photograph is so boring that all you see is the noise then it’s not a good photograph to begin with it be ISO 100 or Gabillion its going to be a snooze fest.
Yeah I could of brought the ISO down some to 4000 to get 1/500th but 6400 was good to my eyes.
Once I had exposure set I asked Bethany to move and dance a little, move her head left to right to get the hair flicking. I will sometimes demonstrate myself which is funny as hell… have you seen me try to dance :)
One great thing about not shooting flash is I could shoot as fast as my shutter finger would let me as I’m not waiting on recycle times, hell I could motor drive if I wanted.
When shooting back lit subjects your sky, windows, background are going to highlight heaven.. by by gone.. Nothing to see here. By the way that’s fine.
Their seems to be this rule that blown highlights are bad.. Yeah sure on skin but windows nope, remember the star of the shot is your subject.. That person you have in front of the lens, not the windows.
The bulk of the light is coming from behind, some will rattle around in the room depending on the environment your in but mostly it’s all from behind, this mean you need to open up exposure 3 or so stops as far as the background is concerned, this will give you your exposure on your subject other wise they are a silhouette or dark on your subject.
One thing you will notice is the edge of the shoulders and arms start to bleed in to the background, personally I don’t mind this in fact it can help thin a subject (not that Bethany needed this).
I chose this frame because I like the hair motion and the fact we can see her smiling and see part of her left eye through the hair, I also like the hand coming up to the mouth. Shot a few in the sequence and this frame felt right.
Ok who’s clicked that this can be done anywhere, don’t need a studio just a windows and enough available light to work with. Beyond that you can use flash.
Go try it, its great. As much as I like dramatic light I do still have a soft spot for back lighting.