Within the next weeks I will change my focus a little bit and do a series of male portraits. To some extend it’s easier as the character of a face can have more contrast and latitude in exposure. On the other hand I have to admit that I have fewer ideas – at least for now. So I started this series with a more classical approach. The idea was to produce images that could be used for business purposes but with less formal objects like ties or watches.
I used the wonderful Fujifilm xf 56 mm lens only with Elinchom studio flashes and final touch in Lightroom 5. I tuned the gray background until it became quite black to focus on the face and expression of the eye.
Images taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 200, 1/180 sec, F8-F11, two D-Lite 4 with an octobox in the right front and strip light in the left back supported by a white reflector also on the left front.
I prepared my strobes as always. I do not want the modes to wait for too long before I start shooting – it still takes some time when it starts. When Karo came in, I instantly know that I had to soften the light. What I prepared was way to hash. But I decided to start with the configuration I prepared to have some orientation. We tried several configurations and viewpoints, but nothing worked for what I wanted. Only after 2,5 hours and no more ideas in my mind that the light turned out to come close to what was needed. The black background turned to much smoother gray tone and the warm tone made it softer.
I used the X-T1 with the XF 56mm all the time. I was so concentrated, that I forgot to test or use other lenses. The peak of quality was at f8, no doubt. At f11 or even f16, it became worth. The sharpness became moody and the skin tones waxy. As I work very close with all the studio strobes I had to power it all down and take some more distance. Then I found the balance between light and aperture. Next time I will use neutral density filter to stay at f8 with some latitude on the Elinchrom strobes.
September is now over and the warm colors of a deep shining sun are quickly turning into a blue dark night. Now the early darkens allow me to go back in studio. It’s time to see if the new season will bring nice pictures out of the light. For Mirha it was the first time in studio with all the lights and reflectors, backgrounds and cameras. It is impressive to see how the expressions evolves during a shot. Even if the first images often already look good it takes a while before the expressions become much more interesting and natural.
As I already posted that I started to use the X-T1 and some strip-light in combination with octagons and beauty dishes. This time I did not switch lens and kept the XF 56mm f1.2 at f11 during almost the full shot. Finally I post processed all images in Lightroom 5 and some in NIK.