Scarlett Portraits

It was time to take some portrait shots of Scarlett. As I was getting set up, I decided that I wanted to try something new; something I’d struggled with before, but never been able to succeed at – a flash highlight of a black background. I’d seen Gavin Hooey use the technique to great success on his Adorama TV show on Youtube. But somehow I’d just never been able to get it to work well. So I decided to try and mess around with the setup before the photo shoot. Eventually, I found something that worked well for me. I think, reviewing the photos for the fifth time now, that as I have it set up, it works best for the closeup shots. For the 3/4 shots, it probably should have been either dropped a little lower or maybe pulled away from the background a bit more to spread it out a bit more. The setup looked like this:

In the past, I’d tried this with “barn doors” and small snoots on the 580EX. While that worked for others with their lighting setups, it was never what I needed for mine to work well. This time I happened to use the large white gobo from a kit I got about 10 years ago and I happened to get the perfect distance from the background (VERY far forward) to get it to work just right.

Here’s what I think the best portrait from that session looks like; best in the sense of making best use of my technique – not necessarily the best photo of Scarlett. (It’s now one of my computer backgrounds)

Scarlett portrait with the background technique.

Here are the 3/4 portraits I took:

Like I said, I like them. They came out well, but I would need to do things slightly differently to get the same feel as with the closeup.

As usual, we also took advantage to have some sibling portraits and Stella really wanted to join in. Here are the best of those:

Overall, I’m happy to get another artistic documentation of the girls getting older as well as coming closer to mastering a technique that had eluded me until now. (Extra awesome to me since I had been ignoring photography in favor of programming and video games recently)

Published by Eric Mesa

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