chriscoleman

I Have A Story To Tell



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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in my friend's studio in Erith, Kent. S.E. England. My friend has mentored me for a good few years now and this image is a product of that great training and tuition.
Time
The model in the image is a good friend of mine who asked me to do a shoot for her. We started early, about 7am. This image is one of a set from a shoot that lasted most of the day doing/trying different looks, poses and lighting set ups using one, two and even three lights towards the end of the shoot.
Lighting
Going for a black background, I wanted a "lower key" setup, starting with just one light positioned to the models right hand side facing slightly downwards to give a nice soft and flattering light. I was going to use two lights, one as a key (main) light and one positioned behind her pointing at the back of her head in order to get some separation between her hair and the background but as it turned out the one light did the job and gave me the look I wanted.
Equipment
The camera used was my new Nikon D7200 with 24-70mm Nikon lens at F8 and ISO200. The studio light was a Bowens 400watt and Octo Softbox.
Inspiration
As much as posing a model is important, I find that even more important is the "look" to camera. I want the viewer to be drawn, connected, and engaged with the image. With eyes being the windows to the soul, getting that "look" right is everything. I don't think there was that one thing that inspired this shot. I had an idea that I wanted to run with and it worked out.
Editing
I use Lightroom for processing images from the Nikon D7200 as most other programs cannot support the complex RAW file type that is produced. I always shoot in RAW, it makes editing more flexible and so much easier. The images are then converted to JPEG and final edits done using Photoshop. Only slight blemish removal, minimal skin softening and shadow/highlight modification was done to this image in post.
In my camera bag
I only ever carry what I need for a particular shoot and not being on a footballers wage, most of my equipment is borrowed from other photographers that are either family, friends or people that I know and socialise with. In my bag/s you will find a Nikon D7200 and D3200. All Nikon lenses, including 70-200mm, 24-70mm, 50mm and 18-105mm. A yongnuo flash/speedlight, and 64GB Class 10 Sandisk memory cards to cope with the size of the RAW files produced.
Feedback
Go for a black background, starting with just one light positioned to the models right hand side (just above the head) facing slightly downwards to give a nice soft and flattering light. Use one light as a (main) key light and also a reflector with tight grid positioned behind your subject pointing at the back of the head in order to get some separation between your subject's hair and the background.

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