Low Key Intensity

Project Description

What is exciting or interesting to you about your photo(s)? I have been making a series of photographs for a local college student who wants to be featured in a few tattoo magazines. In trade for the work, I'm using her as a muse and test subject for lighting techniques described in Kirk's portrait lighting course. I shot this with one LED light reflected from an umbrella, an inexpensive 35"x70" inch black panel behind the model, and a white 42" reflector to fill shadows on the models left side. With the camera set on a tripod and a remote shutter cable attached, I was able to sit next to the camera and engage the model in conversation as I shot. I think this portrait captured the strength of her well. What are you most proud of? I most like the subtle sculpting of her face, and the gentle separation between the model and black background. What advice would you give someone starting this project? Relax and enjoy the process while making subtle adjustments and looking at the difference in outcome. It's also a good idea to keep a log of each frame and make notes until you are comfortable with your ability to accurately repeat your favorite shots. When working with LED lights, you will need to find the balance of camera to model distance, aperture, ISO and shutter speed to obtain needed depth of field on a full frame camera. Most importantly, have fun.

What you will need

  • I used the Fiilex P360 LED light
  • 45" Photoflex umbrella
  • an Interfit 35"x70" reversible flat panel reflector
  • and an Interfit 42" - 5 in 1 reflector. Both of the reflectors came as a kit with a stand so I didn't need an assistant. I did use a Gossen Digipro F incident meter to make sure I exposed for light falling on the subject.

Q&A with Joe Gilbert

No completed Q&As yet.