PictoWriMo Day 29

Today’s theme: Close Portraiture

There have been many times were people have said to me that they can’t produce professional quality portraits because they don’t have the backdrop, five strobes and soft boxes. I always tell them, “you don’t need all that” and it’s true, you really don’t need a Sultan’s fortune of equipment.

In these shots I used (1) 180 watt second strobe ($39), (1) light stand and umbrella ($50 the light kit came with three stands two umbrellas and three continuous lights), and a hotshoe mounted wireless transmitter used for the pc connector to sync the flash ($25 my model of camera didn’t have a built in pc port). That’s it and honestly I could have saved a little money and only used the light kit and no strobe.

Next thing is to set the light in front or 45 degrees to either side and adjust the power to 1/2 (you’ll adjust the power as needed when you take test shots). If you just use continuous lighting then you’ll just adjust your camera’s settings for exposure. In this case I wanted a black background so I set my f/ stop to f/10, my ISO to 100, and my shutter speed to 200.

With this all set all I need is my subject. “Hey Son!”. Click, click, boom! Now the shoot is done and the pictures uploaded into Photoshop I now do some tweeks on contrast and levels then a picture is done.

Here are the results, The first one was desaturated and sharpened for moody feel and the other is just a nice portrait.

pictowrimo 049 small

pictowrimo 065 small


About Mark Birks
Professional photographer specializing in fine art photography and portraiture.

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