A Simple Portrait: Glamour In The Garage
Portraits can be produced virtually anywhere and need not be complicated.
The objective of this portrait, to mark the subject’s 50th birthday, was to light her in such a manner as to minimize the lines on her face. It was created in a garage work area with an just an average height ceiling.
Nuts and bolts: I used three flashes; two in front in an over-under arrangement, sometimes called “clamshell,” each modified with a 45″ white umbrella, and the third, without any reflector or modifier, bare-bulb if you will, pointed directly at the blue background, to create a halo effect around the subject’s head.
The image required only a bit of retouching: A little iris enhance, some teeth whitening and a bit of skin soften, all accomplished within Adobe Lightroom.
I consider the effort modestly successful. A grid on the background light, and pulling it a bit further from the background, would have reduced its intensity. Without a grid I had to place it closer to the background to create the necessary falloff.
Incidentally, this portrait was originally shot in 1998 on Fujichrome RDP 100, with a Nikon SLR and 85mm lens. An inexpensive drugstore scan was used to produce the image for this post.
A little time, a little space, a good plan and a patient subject is all it takes to make a simple portrait.