Studio lighting is… tricky. If anyone has ever tried to get ‘good’ light for a selfie, the rule of thumb is to face a window or at least stand by one because it gives large soft light that is very flattering. If you try to make your own light, its a bit more difficult. To make a similar flattering look, you need a big, flat source, and most lightbulbs or lamps aren’t big. The alternative would be to bounce light off of something to diffuse it. And that’s exactly what I did.
With Meagan’s impromptu shoot, I bounced light off of the wall, but the result was too dim to work with. So for this shoot, I bounced it off of a trifold display board (the type you use for elementary school science fairs). The light was much brighter, harsher, but still useful.
All of these were shot with my 85 mm f1.4. The depth of focus with that lens when shot wide open is so unbelievably narrow, a lot of my shots were out of focus. My chest or my hat would be in focus, but my face wouldn’t be. If you even zoom in on some of these, you’ll notice one or two that are a bit soft too.
When I do most of my shoots with people, it’s very ‘run and gun’. I pick a good location, I find the best light, I put the subject there, and I take as much photos as I can until I feel that I’ve caught something nice. But when I have the camera on a tripod, aimed at a fixed angle on a plain black wall, I have all of the time in the world to take the best picture possible. What’s in frame? What’s out of frame? What’s the lighting? What’s the pose? What’s the facial expression I want here? I took my time. And if anyone knows me, some of these pictures match my personality almost exactly.
I can get used to studio photography. It could be my next favorite thing.