Shooting in the studio. My favorite lighting set up....

I love shooting portraits in the studio. I love the feeling of total lighting control. My space isn't very big but it's pretty efficient. For these two images I used my favorite lighting set up. It's one big (six by six foot) frame, covered with white silk diffusion material at about a 35 degree angle to the subject. My camera is right at the leading edge of the diffusion panel....actually touching the frame. I used three big fluorescent lighting units to push light through the silk. What this gives me is a big, soft, but directional light source that I can use to sculpt light across a face in a very flattering way. Since my studio has an all white interior I placed some black panels to the shade side to keep the portrait from getting too filled in. 

Once your great big light is set you've got a lot of lee way to let your model move around and be comfortable in the space. 

I used the Samsung camera's touch screen to actually take the images. I would touch the part of the screen where I wanted the camera to focus and then I'd touch the virtual shutter button to take the image. It was kinda fun but after a while the novelty wore off and I went back to composing in the EVF. 

I like the look of the images. And I like the perspective of the longer, 85mm lens on this APS-C format. But most of all I liked composing in the square on that big, juicy rear screen. When I mentioned earlier that I thought this camera would make a good studio camera that's what I meant....you could compose on a huge screen so that even if you are cropping square there's still a ton of real estate with which to play. 

Why do I like continuous light over flash for stuff like this? Well, it just feels more kinetic and alive. That's pretty much my overriding rationale.

Big thanks to Noellia for dropping by and letting me put my toys through their paces. Hope you've had a weekend of shooting fun stuff.

Studio Portrait Lighting

Got a cool camera? Remember to have fun...

An 85mm lens on an APS-C camera can seem a little long until you head outside the studio and move back from your subject. Then, at least for me, the perspective starts to look really, really good. My friend, Noellia, dropped by on Friday afternoon and it was the perfect opportunity to shoot more images with the Samsung Galaxy NX camera I've been testing. Fortunately the product manager sent along a selection of lenses I really like. Most manufacturers who send cameras out for review or test send along a standard kit lens. I get it. That's the way the vast majority of people will actually buy the camera. But if they sent along lenses that photographers really shoot with they'd get more interesting sample images.

In this instance my intention wasn't to shoot "sample" images but to shoot stuff that Noellia wanted for  her website and her acting portfolio. She started her acting career here in Austin at Zach Scott Theatre and then headed off to NYC. She's done work for Disney and she just finished up a four month run of the Broadway production of The Buddy Holly Story. She wanted some different images and since we were both in town she came on by.

Every photographer should have a group of friends who are actors, performers, models and natural beauties. It's mutually beneficial: You get someone fun and interesting to photograph and they get material to help them diversify their careers. My intention is to use some of the studio photographs Noellia and I did this week to illustrate an article I'm writing for Photo.net. Fortuitous.

For these two images we shot in the open shade of my back porch. I shot them both with the Galaxy NX camera and I used the 85mm 1.4 Samsung NX lens. I'm quite happy with the imaging power of the combination.

I processed the images in Aperture because I like the one click skin color correction.

Open shade is almost always your friend....

Studio Portrait Lighting