I didn’t have any inspired ideas for anything to shoot the other weekend, though my fingers were itching to shoot something. As a result I decided to experiment with a couple of things.
The first thing was the background. Lately I’ve been shooting all my portraits on either completely black or blown out white. The reason for that is that I don’t have a proper, seamless background. I have to make do with bed sheets and they just don’t look very good if you can still see their real colour and texture. If you have a seamless, white paper for your background, you can easily ignore it and simply let it go grey from the falloff from your lights – it will look good, without you having to put up any effort what-so-ever. However, if you try the same thing with a bed sheet, chances are it will look rather crappy with wrinkles and an off colour (our white one has a decidedly yellow tint).
So, I wanted to try lighting the background for a change, just a bit. The light I used was a bare LP160, standing on the floor behind my subject. I guess it worked, kind of. There was a blue tint to it that I removed in post to make it proper grey (the bed sheet is black). Perhaps with some experimenting I could get it to look better, put it more directly behind the subject or let it come in from the top instead. As it was, I did it the simplest way possible (yeah, I’m lazy). I still like the all black or white backgrounds better, at least until I can get something more suitable than bed sheets.
The second thing I experimented with as a home-made wind machine, a.k.a. my wife with a piece of cardboard. I quite like portraits with some kind of movement in them, they just feel more dynamic. Hair blowing in the wind is probably the easiest way to get some action going. As you can see from the pictures, the little one had some trouble looking unaffected by the strong gales whipping through her hair. Other than that it worked well and I think the muppet had fun with it.
Key light was a LP160 in softbox and behind a trigrip. I should probably have moved this around a bit since I’m not that happy with it. However, I was having my hands full conducting my two girls and trying to get some usable shots; next time.
Fairly short today, see you around next time.