Starla Lost (Tutorial)
It’s been a while since I posted an insight into how I do post work on some of my portraits.
This one is a bit tricky as my studio space is quite small. This routinely causes depth of flash issues.
The background is white seamless paper lit by two AB400’s bounced from silver brollies angled down to even out the light for this floor shot. An additional AB800 is shooting straight up to bounce back down from a white ceiling. If Starla was standing, her hair would go "hot" due to depth of flash physics. It is a bad idea with blondes but as her hair is dark I knew I could burn it back in during post.
Her legs extend back into the light wrap danger zone and went "hot" as expected. Light physics (inverse square) again and there is nothing much I can do about that but burn it back in during post. The ceiling light keeps the floor more consistent with the background.
Additionally I used a ABR800 on camera turned way down to light into any shadow areas. Ring Flash makes a wonderful fill light.
To go 255 white I had to adjust the contrast up a notch and dodge selectively.
Starla’s face is pointing away from any key light source except light bouncing back up from the floor so I dodged around her eyes to fix this. It could be done with a snoot but aiming the light precisely would be a lot harder than needed.
There are other things that go into finishing a photo like this. The things I mentioned are just the main things. Cleaning up dust and lint, taking out wrinkles and blemishes, dodging in hair hi-lites, fixing chipped nails, whitening eyes and teeth, on and on…
When you know the behind the scenes work that goes into a finished digital after the shoot is over and the talent has gone home – $10 a finished digital seems like a good deal. One hour of shooting usually equals two hours of finishing work – at least.
If I had a commercial sized studio I could set the lights back much farther and avoid a lot of post work. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.
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