|Monochrome conversion of Whimsy|
|A little more traditional, but she didn't like this shot. . .|
|Got a picture of a silly smile. . .|
|Our favorite from the other night's twilight shoot. . .|
I have been doing a LOT of reading about portraiture lately. I started out last month by finally sitting down and poring over Joe McNally's wonderful book, The Hot Shoe Diaries. I ended up reading it completely TWICE, because as he explains: it really isn't so much a manual as things that have worked for him in his life as a photographer. So he doesn't really detail each technique exactly, but after reading the book and my favorite tutorials a few times, it began to sink in.
I purchased a small softbox (16"x16") and a light stand that I can use with my hot shoe flash, to get it off the camera and be able to have light come from other directions than simply the top of my camera, which can give a photographer more professional results.
The technique, or Strobist information, a la David Hobby's wonderfully informative blog on off-camera flash photography, Strobist, is fairly simple once one gets the hang of it. I know there are far more complicated lighting setups and I will definitely try those out as I learn more, but I was thrilled with the simple results I received over the last two days.
The first set of pictures with the black background was taken yesterday afternoon, in a makeshift studio set up in my office. The last picture was taken two nights ago at twilight, and was directly from a technique Joe McNally talks about in which one sets the camera in Tungsten White Balance to retain the deep, jewel-toned blue of the twilight sky behind the subject, and places a colored piece of plastic (in this case a Rosco Strobist Collection 1/4 CTO/Orange gel) over the flash to bring some warmth to the skin tones of the subject.
I was very happy with the results and am interested to do more experimentation! However, my "model" only gives me about 5-10 minutes of her time at this point, in between homework and playtime, so I don't get an awful lot of practice time.
Hope you like the pictures! Best wishes, Cindy