Three Portraits: One Camera, Lens, and Light

These three portraits all have a totally different look and feel. Yet they were all taken with one camera, lens, and light.  Here's the breakdown.

 

 

1) Rooftop - I found a secret door to an amazing part of the roof which features a jaw dropping view of the Chrysler building. Since the sun was still fairly high in the sky, my first priority was to control the ambient exposure. I metered the sky in camera, and zeroed it out. Now that I had medium blue sky, I could start to build the light for my subject. I had the Canon 580 EXII flash on a light stand, triggered remotely through Pocket Wizards. I set it to ETTL at -1 output. I also manually zoomed the flash head to 105mm to create more of a hard light look. I shot from a very low perspective, almost lying on the tarry roof. The Canon 17-40mm lens was just wide enough for the job.

 

 

 2) With a windchill in the teens, it was time to come inside and warm up. I noticed these beautifully disgusting windows, full of character, and wanted to work with them. Thankfully my subject was a great sport and didn't mind climbing up there. She immediately struck a pose and I knew the silhouette would be striking. I metered her, and underexposed by 2.5 stops.

 

 

3) Now that we had some more creative shots, I wanted to shoot the "safe" shot. This is the one that most clients need for a business newsletter, or profile picture. Found a nice simple background with terrific texture, and set up the flash camera left and high above. Dialed down the power to -1 and made a few tests while checking where the shadows fell in the LCD. Made a few small adjustments while talking to my subject about her business, and captured the final shot.  Three different looks, one camera, lens, and light. 

 

 

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