wise elephant, making it happen

Portrait Photography: Lighting and Background

By jason - up to 2007 (archived) • Oct 17th, 2007 • Category: Eye Candy

by Ibarionex R. Perello for Better Photo:
“For a photographer who works out of a studio or who uses strobes this isn’t a big deal, but for me it’s a challenge. Since I normally shoot with only available light with a few reflectors and scrims for light modifiers, I am forced to “find” the best light for the portrait. To complicate matters, I have to make sure that I also have a background that serves the subject and that isn’t distracting.

Though it can be a great source of anxiety as I am walking up to the door, I find that I enjoy the challenge of finding the light and the background that will make the image sing.

While recently photographing author Mae Respicio in her home in Venice, there was no shortage of wonderful light. We began by shooting in her bathroom where the light from the south facing window bounced off the room’s white walls. She even graciously stood in her bathtub while I used the window as a backdrop for my initial shots. By exposing for her face which was illuminated by a reflector, I purposely overexposed for the window making it into a luminous white backdrop.”

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