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learwoody Apr 06
What a beautiful human being....and what a great shot. Love the colour and bokeh behind her.

Raquel In Close





Winner in Beautiful Women of the World Photo Challenge
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Magnificent Capture
Superb Composition
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Behind The Lens

I've set up a modest photo studio in my garage where I shoot most of my portraits.
Time of day was noonish. Of course, time of day doesn't matter to this particular photograph.
I love directional soft lighting. 3/4 side, above eye level. For just a tiny bit of fill I bounced some of that key off of a silver board just under the frame (from the key side). Most of the time, I work the fill from the key side for wrap and leave the shadow side down.
As a cinematographer by profession, I utilize my cinema tools for my portraits. I used my 1000w Arri open face tungsten constant light with with a Chimera as her key. There is a piece of sequined fabric draped behind her for interesting bokeh. Then just a bounce fill of a silver card. I don't use a tripod. I like to have my camera mobile for the perfect angle on the fly. I am constantly working my ISO, F-Stop and shutter speed in order to get the right exposure and desirable bokeh. With this shot, I liked the shallow DOF with an open stop. Probably an F2.8 - F4.
My inspiration comes from the model. Usually I start with simple exteriors in order to get a feel for their tendencies and to get into a rhythm. As we get comfortable, I then go into the studio for more intricate lighting set ups. For this model in particular, she's a pro. Her personality shines from the start. I loved working close ups with her as she has such an expressive and beautiful face. This shot was one of my favorites from that session.
I do some Photoshop. As with all my subjects, I try to do as minimal as possible. Some skin smoothing, color grading and sharpening. I enjoy the post editing process. That's where the photo comes alive.
In my camera bag
My bag is minimal. Camera, two lenses, mini-tripod, cards, batteries. My lenses are a 50mm prime 1.1 and a fisheye for fun shots.
Advice for similar shots is understand how to light your subject. Actually, first, understand your subject. I feel it's important to get to know your subject a bit before you click your first shot. It sounds pretentious, but talk to them and feel out their personality. I find that helps me with the type of shots I want to do with them. Look at their face. Do you want to accentuate the eyes? Chin up or chin down? Do they have interesting body movement? Pay close attention to them and you'll start to understand what works for them photographically.

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