Thursday 5 August 2010

When lights fail you

Long time no blog! I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to do any blog posts, but today I'm going to, no matter what. I've missed blogging, to be honest. Recently I haven't had time to really enjoy Photoshopping, either, as I have had to quickly deliver photos to clients - shock horror - pretty much straight out of the camera! At least I can say that my photos are good enough to deliver without post processing, eh? Look on the bright side, right? I do like a bit of editing, too, as you may know, I'm itching to learn some new editing skill at the moment. Learning new things keeps me alive.

But back to what I was going to write you about. Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking portraits of Rachel Denyer. Only a few things went wrong! Rachel is a fabulously colourful person and my mind was set to use gels in her portraits. Fine, except that once I started setting up my lights I realised that I'd left my gels at home. Luckily there were some used gels in the studio, and I managed to tape some on in front of my background light. When I had placed Rachel in front of my lights and started shooting, I realised that one of my main lights wasn't flashing! This is one of the Bowens Gemini 500W that I bought two years ago... it's the first time it hasn't flashed. Nothing got it going, so I had to assume that the flash tube had gone, and loose the light from my set-up. And so I started shooting with one main light with a shoot-through umbrella, and a 'snooted' background light.

I was getting quite strong shadows on Rachel's face, but with a bit of post processing, I think I probably got away with it.

To be honest, I started really liking the lighting - it was different from what I have been using recently, and I think it was giving Rachel's portraits more character.

What do you think? Feel free to comment. :-)


Wayne Upchurch said...

Katariina, your lighting always looks clean, crisp, intentionally professional. Years of making the most of limited gear, time, budget, etc, when I was a newspaper photographer, taught me what you've exemplified, here. Sometimes necessity really IS invention's Mama.
Great Thing is how the limitations can allow for More creativity, and/or take us back to the basics. The great modelling you've gotten here from a single source Totally works to focus on the subject, since you bring to that both, a discerning eye, and a Great way of interacting with the people you photograph that Brings the Fun! I wind up really liking your people.

Katariina Jarvinen said...

Wayne, you always bring such insight in your comments - I love it.

My set-up certainly didn't look professional, especially the tattered, broken pieces of gel that I taped in front of my snoot with brown packaging tape. But who cares what the studio or the lighting set-up looks like if the resulting photos are good.

Great to hear your last comment, too! :)

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Katariina Jarvinen said...

Thank you for the encouragement, anonymous commentors. ;-)