Make your portraits stand out.

Photography, Photoshop

Yesterday I tried a new approach to facial lighting while shooting portraits. I wanted to bring out the beast in my model so I decided to give scissorlighting a shot, and I think it turned out great. This is not a standard approach when it comes to setting up your lights but in this case I think it worked quite well. For this technique you’ll need two sources of hard light, I used my 800W redheads. The photo was shot with a Canon 700D using the 50mm f1.8 lens (wide open) and a .3 ND filter.

The idea is to shine the light on the sides of the face, slightly from the back of your model. The model is placed in the center where the two lights cross. Here’s a sketch:

saxaskiss

I shot my portraits in RAW so I had a lot of wiggle room in Photoshop. Which light setup is your favourite when lighting for portraits? Drop me a comment – I’d love to know.

Model Marcus Witold Piorkowski is a talented musician and filmmaker. You can check out his portfolio here and listen to his music on Spotify.

Sins in Vain – The portraits.

Photography, Photoshop

Last weekend I spent my the entire saturday shooting a video for the local metal band Sins in vain. They were recording a cover song and wanted the process to be documented so at the beginning of 2018 I’ll hopefully be done with the editing. I also snapped some photos of the band and here are some portraits I took towards the end of the day. It was a simple setup against a noticeboard with a quick Rembrandtlighting using a 800w redhead.

How I set up the Jimmy Skize interview.

DIY-builds and hacks, Film

This interview was made for the municipality of Helsingborg and their streetart festival “ArtstreetHBG”.

Jimmy Skize is a graffiti-veteran who fell in love with graffiti in when the documentary Style Wars came out. He’s been involved in the art form ever since. This means he was painting when I still walked around in nappies. The interview is in Swedish and sadly I never got around to subtitle it. I’ve got four more interviews like this coming up and three of them will be in English.

So how did I set this up?

  • Canon 700D
  • Canon compact video camera
  • Redhead 800W Cinelight
  • RØDE videomic pro
  • Vintage construction-light
  • DIY cameraslider

IMG-20170723-WA0005

I had one camera on each side of my subject; one close up and one a bit further away. I positioned myself in the middle of these to make sure the subject wasn’t looking into any of the cameras. I used the construction-light behind my subject to separate him from the background a bit, and then I went for a Rembrandt-lighting with my 800w (45 degree angles from the subject X, Y, Z until the little triangle appears under the eye of the shaded half of the face).

I kept the interview kind of loose, like a conversation, but where I mainly nodded and smiled a lot instead of answering (since I cut my part of the chat out completely). I knew I was going to do these interviews, so during the festival I made sure I had some footage of each artist to edit into the interview. Also, I usually try to cut between cameras when I edit as my subject blinks. The closer camera is good to use for a bit of impact when it gets a bit more emotional or personal.

Since there would be a difference in picture quality using two different cameras, I planned to make the footage of the lesser camera black and white and add a vintage feel to it. That’s why I brought my old Super-8 camera to the studio and created a little intro for these interviews. It motivates the black and white, cropped, vintage footage a bit more. I used my slider and stabilized the footage with Premieres Warp Stabilizer and quite easily masked the lens where the text appears.

IMG_20170724_112459

The Super-8 camera (a RICOH SUPER-8) was never used for anything else than looking fly in the intro and to justify the look of the Canon compact videocamera.

Finally I took some portraits with my DSLR before letting my subject go since I had everything set up. These photos where later used as cover images for the videos, and for the bio-page of each artist.

Each interview went on for 25 minutes and was edited down to about 4 minutes. The intro was used in every interview and all I had to do was to change the name in the end for each artist.

Coming up during next week are: Ilse Weisfelt, Tim Timmey, Levi Jacobs and Spidertag.