A Quick Shoot in a Tight Space

January 25, 2010

Photo Tips, Portrait

DPE article 2

While helping film an educational DVD for Photo Basics by Westcott, I took the liberty of photographing their talent for an impromptu photo shoot. The DVD was demonstrating the ease of lighting a green screen with the new Photo Basic uLites and was being filmed in a storage bay attached to a storage unit facility.

I used one of the new uLites that has a 20″x20″ softbox which houses a 500watt photoflood bulb. I wanted extreme DoF so I was shooting with a Canon 85mm f1.2 wide open on a 5D body. Whenever I shoot at f1.2 I always make sure to focus on the eye which is closest to the camera. (This is where I almost always focus for portraits but with the aperture that wide it is even more critical to make sure the focus is right on.)

I took the light out into the hallway and placed the talent in front of one of the units overhead doors. I liked the contrast in angles of the horizontal lines of the door in the background and the vertical lines of the wall he was leaning on.

The light was placed two feet above the subjects head and directly above the camera. Because the power of the uLite was so great I was able to get a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a sec at ISO 100, this allowed me to shoot freehand off a tripod.

For this shot I was lying on the ground shooting up at the subject while the light was directly above me and 4 feet from the subject creating a butterfly lighting pattern. That distance allowed me to illuminate the entire subject and part of the background while still providing beautiful soft wraparound light.

This shot was only possible because of the portability of the uLites which allowed me to correctly light and shoot in such a tight space.


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This post was written by:

- who has written 3 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Specializing in wedding and portrait photography John serves the NW Ohio area via a loft studio in downtown Toledo’s Historic Warehouse District. In 2008 John partnered with the F.J. Westcott Company as their Technical Representative. John still operates Optical Exposure Photography along with his downtown studio although he is now primarily shooting destination weddings all around the world. John also travels with Westcott teaching Lighting Seminars and speaking at photography events throughout the year. You can check out F.J. Westcott’s website at http://www.fjwestcott.com


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