Portrait of Rubi

Another one from the Rubi Series. For this shot, we moved back to the white paper background. The setup included a key light to the models right and a hair light. The studio’s white walls acted as a reflector and helped retain details in the shadows.

The XE1 is an amazing camera which I enjoy a lot. Pair it with the 60mm XF Fujinon prime lens and you will be holding a very capable studio portrait system. I would love to have a faster flash sync body but the X-E1 speed is good enough for portraits at 1/180. Although, I am yet to have some luck using my strobes at the rated speed, I always have to go as low as 1/125. Nevertheless, the system delivers great, crip and brilliant pictures.

Shot with the X-E1 & 60mm XF Fujinon running the latest firmware at the time this post was published.

Paramount Lighting/Mono


Taken while studying Paramount lighting techniques, or Butterfly lighting because of the shape of the slight shadows achieved under the nose of the model. I had the model facing straight at the camera for most pictures taken during this session to really get a hold of the technique, once achieved, I asked the model to turn slightly to the left. With the light setup the same, I simply reduced the power on my single strobe to produce a much dimmer light and reduce the falloff around her.

Post processing involved skin, hair and eyes treatment, and Lr to turn the photo mono and add the final effects.

From the instance I saw the picture, I though I saw La Gioconda.

XE1/60mm XF – B800/Gold Reflector – Butterfly Lighting

Paramount Lighting


So I decided to try the Butterfly or Paramount lighting technique. I am very surprised I have never tried it before as it is such a simple setup but yields really high glamorous results. It requires a key light high above the model pointing down to illuminate the face, and a reflector right under the camera to soften the shadows. That simple. I could have used a second strobe or flashgun to add light to the model’s hair but I really wanted to focus on the face and pretty much fade everything else. Some light post processing and you have a beautiful portrait.

Thidwick, The Band


A friend asked me to come up with a few shots to advertise his cover band Thidwick, and to get a nice ad for his merchandise. I decided for clean front pictures for the apparel. I also had more lights and modifiers than usual. For this shot, my beloved 300ws through a double baffled rectangular softbox as a main light, a gold reflector, hair light, and a homemade continuous light. This last one resulting in a nice blue hue to the background. 

Yes, I could have achieved the same with two lights, maybe, and more digital darkroom work. But hey, a man can only spend so much time on the computer and I am almost out of Starbucks Keurig cups. The final result, a somewhat purist photo approach.  

http://www.thidwicktheband.com

Red Dress


Single light portrait. Positioned to enhance skin and add a touch of hair light without killing those beautiful shadows. A little too close or too far and the magic is gone. I have both a mono and color version but I had to go color on this one. Even though the mono version really works bringing the midtones and dark shadows. But the brilliant red dress brings so much life to the picture that this had to be full color. And again, the magnificent X-E1 Fuji camera delivers flawlessly. Excellent color rendition, sharp, and a beauty to shoot with.

Martha: Basic Lighting

Martha: Basic LightingSometimes going back to basics can get you that one shot you were looking for. A single light through a rectangular softbox. Get it close to the model. Put aside the shyness and get closer and closer too. Get the eyes sharp, textbook. Tilt the head and open the mouth a little. Shot. Repeat. Then, time for the digital darkroom. And a cup of coffee.