Originally this started as a collection of photos I wanted to post. I was a novice photographer when I started this blog. Now I have learnt some of the tricks of the trade and can call myself an amateur. I will use this blog to highlight some of my works and also some tricks/tips which I think may be useful to others.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My experiements (And probably Failures) with Portrait Lighting: Portrait 151

Use of lighting can make your portraits very interesting. Now, if you are a portrait photographer who shoots outside, then you don't have a problem. Sun is a brilliant light source for portrait photography and you get to work with a big field, so you can control your depth of field to blur your background suitably.
If you are a professional and have access to a studio, you are also good to go. Studio's offer you a lot of lighting to be creative.

Now what happens to amateur photo enthusiasts like us, who need to shoot within cramped furnishings of our house? This is a big challenge, specifically so, you are probably under a strict budget, and lack of access to a studio means that you are shooting against a clutter.

Recently I have bought a set of Vivitar wireless flashes (See below) for my portrait work within the cramped spaces of my house.

My new toys

These flashes provide lighting of a wonderful color temperature (5500K) and light the subjects very well. However I am still finding it a little difficult to control these flashes with my Sony Alpha300.

The first two pictures I am going to show is perfectly balanced lighting, bounced of the ceiling. I have used 1 flash for the photo of my son, and two flashes for the photo of my wife. The flashes are bounced of the ceiling and the color of the walls have set a color cast.

From Blog

From Blog

Both of the above images have light which is diffused and is well balanced. Now lets see what happens, when I tried to use a light which is more directional. In the following photo, my wife was busy doing some chores, when I put two directional flashes on her face from a distance. The face is a bit washed out (the flashes are manual and have a very high intensity), but it gives a bit of a mood to the photo. (Judge it for yourselves)
From Blog

Another interesting thing I have found out originating from a mistake. When I am bouncing a flash from the sky, sometimes it gets deflected out of the ceiling fan if I have not positioned the flash correctly. Now this gives rise to some photo effects which I found interesting ... apparently very few others did, but I have included one such example here anyway: afterall the mistakes should also be published.
The last photo I would like to publish in todays article when I was shooting my sister-in-law. I was using multiple directional flashes, and my mistake in balancing the intensity and direction produced some interesting shadows. One such example posted below:
From Blog

If you have read this upto here, you might be wondering what is it I am trying to say through this post. Well, I believe photography is a creative pursuit, and if you dare to digress from what everyone does, while still keeping in mind the basic rules of good photography, you will bring out something which will be cherished by you. This post is titled lighting, as lighting is one aspect which can generate a lot of interest in the photo.
Do let me know what do you think. If you have suggestions, please post them as comments.


joshidaniel said...

thanks for checking out my photoblog. So how much does these flash cost???

Shubhra said...

I bought these flashes from US at $69.95 each from B&H