Lefteris has been doing more writing lately, and he needed an updated headshot to go with a recent article. He needed it quickly, and we needed to take a minimum amount of time shooting it – minimum as in “while the baby is napping, and within earshot”. Translation: our back yard and the alleyway between our house and our neighbor’s house. Luckily he is a natural in front of the camera – probably from the years of me encouraging him to be my model. (It doesn’t hurt that I think he looks just like a Greek statue come to life.)
This was shot in front of our lemon tree, as the sun was rising behind the tree. I set the camera up to overexpose a little (since his shirt and jacket are so light, and I wanted them to look that way on the shot) at first, shooting in AV mode – but I quickly switched to manual as that became a hassle, mostly because I wanted those strokes of sunlight in the upper-left. This was shot with my 50mm lens.
After that I went to a wider lens – my 24-70 – and put him in the middle of this alleyway, to play with two things: 1) the obvious, leading lines all pointing to him; and 2) bringing him toward the sunlight but not quite into it, while the background was all in the shadow, to experiment with making him pop out against the darker alley.
In the shot above, the sun is coming over my left shoulder and bouncing off of a part of the right wall back onto him. The wall is a warm white color – making a huge, flattering light! Next, I had him move closer to the wall camera-left, while I moved closer to the reflector wall, to get a different lighting setup and a much more neutral background.
That was fun because just by moving him closer to the beginning of the alley, I could add “fill” light that was really spill light from the (unreflected) sun. Eventually that overtook the bounced light – with just a couple of steps. These were shot at f2.8, by the way – enough depth of field to keep the front of him entirely in focus, but still throw the textured wall out of focus to make a nice clean background.
All before the baby woke up. More in the portfolio!