May 19, 2012

Portrait Project - Veterans

I had the opportunity to set up a photo booth for veterans at a special appreciation event for Armed Services Day.  It is always good to meet, shake hands, and thank these folks for their willingness to serve.

Of course it was also a chance to experiment with lighting setups. I was inspired by this post on Strobist with some beautiful shots of civil war re-enactors, so I went from there using what I have equipment-wise and ended up with a totally different look, but still something that I liked a lot. Portraits-9904

Knowing that some of the subjects would be wearing hats, I wanted to make sure that there was light for their faces. The main light is a big softbox to camera right, barely in front of the subjects. Enough to the side to still get good definition in facial wrinkles and such. What I added was the 2x2 softbox just above and behind the camera position. It is a minimal power to just add a touch of light in the eyes and face without losing the shadows. Comparison photos ... (left) Just the camera-position fill light, and (right) with the key light.

As a full length setup, it still looks good.. the light draws your eyes up to the face. Of course the background needs steaming or a full seamless roll to put down on the floor.

Adding the fill light at the camera position gave a look that I like a lot better than just two lights with even lighting on both sides of the face.




This setup does require some care with subjects who wear glasses though... Portraits-9779

Throughout the event, members of the Young Marines served food, helped with setup and performed color guard duty. After it was all over, they came through the photo booth and gave me some of the best photos of the day.




Don't forget why we celebrate Memorial Day next weekend.

Don J.

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