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Sabrina



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Behind The Lens

Location

Sabrina is a professional model. I had the opportunity to shoot her at the Shutterfest conference 2018 in the St Louis Union Station Hotel. The building has many splendidly decorated areas inside and outside. This is in an area in the bottom level.

Time

It was indoors in the afternoon.

Lighting

I wanted a directional and focused light as you see in the picture. The ambient light level there was quite dim, so I did not have to stop down the aperture to make a black box. I used a single off camera bare flash from the left, placed on top of my camera bag. I set the flash to manual exposure, zoomed in, and placed it as close as I could outside the edge of the frame. I was trying for the light not to spill into the background too much.

Equipment

I shot the picture with a Pentax K-1 camera, Pentax 24-70 f 2.8 lens with a Cactus V6 radio trigger and a Pentax AF540 flash mounted on another Cactus V6. The settings were: ISO 100, F3.2, focal length 63 mm. I do not exactly remember the flash power, but it would be around 1/32 -1/64 th power.

Inspiration

Sabrina wore a very interesting makeup, lots of interesting tattoos and a glamorous dress. I took a few shots of her sitting on a highback chair in a porch, featuring the makeup and dress. I wanted to make a simplified image. She wore long eyelashes, and when we came to the area where this photo is, I requested her to sit near the pillar which had a different shade of blue than her dress and there was a lot of blue in her tattoos. I decided a photo with a cool overall tone which mainly featured her face and emphasized on the eyelashes. I shot from slightly above to give some importance to the pillar, which I thought would complement the scene. I framed with a camera angle to avoid the light spill on the wall to her left.

Editing

I adjusted the white balance in Lightroom to my liking and then moved the picture to Photoshop. There were some camera bags in the background walls, which I removed. And the light was about equal on her thigh and her face. So, I brightened her face and darkened her thigh. Also, slimmed her upper arm just a bit in Photoshop.

In my camera bag

My travel bag is a Tenba roller case. I carry two Pentax bodies, a K-1 and a K-5, a few lenses (Pentax 24-70 f2.8, Sigma 35 mm Art 1.4, Sigma 85 mm 1.4, Sigma 70-200 2.8, and a Tamron 90mm macro), several Pentax AF540 flashes and Cactus triggers. I also carry another bag for a lightstand, a tripod and a small shoot-through umbrella. Depending on the shoot, I sometimes carry an umbrella type beauty dish, and a big shoot-through umbrella.

Feedback

I used lighting and posing to simplify the frame to what I wanted to focus on in this photo. Most often a picture like this would require camera settings that almost completely negate the ambient light. In my situation, I did not have to do that, because it was low light anyway, and I chose a less lighted corner of that space.

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