Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
  #1
Natural Light Portraits
Posted By: spyglass, 01-18-2008, 11:31 AM

I have never had much opportunity to play around with portrait photography. I managed to talk my daughter and wife into sitting for me. My daughter said "Dad you get 2 picture then I am out of here". She was true to her word - ha ha. My wife was a bit easier. I bribed her with a nice glass of wine and the opportunity for a chat. I decided to use natural light for the shots.


I placed my daughter next to a window in our eating area. The afternoon light (3:30) illuminated her right side. I used a home made reflector to fill in the non illuminate left side of her face. (reflector made from crumpled aluminum foil, re-flattened, secured to a piece of cardboard, approx 12x14)






I seated my wife in the same location. It was late afternoon (4:30) and the light had acquired a much warmer tone. I decided to try something a bit different. I grabbed some wax paper and taped it to the window to serve as a diffuser, leaving only the center area unaffected. Once again I used my home made reflector to fill in the non illuminated side.


Views: 3,305
01-18-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Gooshin's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, the one in Canada.
Posts: 5,610
holy cracker jack thats detail!!

lens/tripod? what were your settings?
01-18-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
Veteran Member
rormeister's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 626
WOW! The second image proves beyond any doubt that light plays a huge role in the overall composition. Perfect framing, the pose looks truly professional. Even your 'make do' reflectors worked very well. Can you divulge your lens selection? Overall I must say, give up your day job!
01-18-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: canada
Posts: 67
Wonderful photos!

I read somewhere recently about a really cheap reflector that you might be able to find at a local dollar store - they are those fold out sun reflectors that you put in your windshield.

01-18-2008, 02:40 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Posts: 2,027
Simply wonderful!

You nailed these shots better than most could have and I would not be able to pull these out from a stack of professional ones except for the fact they may be better!

Lighting is spot on in the first shot just IMO it needs a levels adjustment to brighten it up, but I am on a laptop right now so someone with a calibratd monitor may want to check that for me.

The second one has a superb mood and feel to it and again the lighting is spot on.

Thank you for sharing and maybe you should sit down with the wife and talk about your ext few purchases cause you may need a basement studio.
01-18-2008, 02:50 PM   #6
Veteran Member
spyglass's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 748
Original Poster
Thanks for the encouragement (Gooshin, Rormeister, Neisey). I used my favorite lens. It is a Pentax 50mm F 1:1.2 (I believe it was / is the fastest lens Pentax made. I love the shallow depth of field it brings to the table. It is much sharper opened up than one would think. I find that a 50mm lens today used on a DSLR is like a 75mm used on a 35 film camera (75mm – 135mm being the range for portrait lens, or so I was always told). I am definitely a tripod fan. I did use one (to help free my hands up to work the reflector. I find that you need to really explore with the reflector to find where it works, the closer to the subject the higher the illumination, the angle can play up big too, etc. I have made several reflectors ranging from various white paper (gloss, matt, etc), old projector screen, to aluminum foil. I seem to get good results from the crinkled foil. It is quick & inexpensive to make, works well so far. I carry a small one about the size of a deck of cards for flower shots. I like to use my jacket, or a diffuser to block the strong light out and then “pop” the center of attention (flower) to life with the reflected light. This can be subtle of dramatic.
Thank you codiac2600 for the kind words, I am a big admirer of your portrait work, you definitely set the bar for portrait work on this site.

Pentax *ist DL
Pentax 50mm F 1:1.2
Manfroto 455 Tripod
Manfroto 229 Head
Reflector by Renolds / Alcan – ha ha

Spyglass
01-18-2008, 02:58 PM   #7
Veteran Member
MikeW's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 437
Let me add to the praise. These are both wonderful, although I really like #2.

01-18-2008, 04:02 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Posts: 2,027
QuoteOriginally posted by spyglass Quote
Thanks for the encouragement (Gooshin, Rormeister, Neisey). I used my favorite lens. It is a Pentax 50mm F 1:1.2 (I believe it was / is the fastest lens Pentax made. I love the shallow depth of field it brings to the table. It is much sharper opened up than one would think. I find that a 50mm lens today used on a DSLR is like a 75mm used on a 35 film camera (75mm – 135mm being the range for portrait lens, or so I was always told). I am definitely a tripod fan. I did use one (to help free my hands up to work the reflector. I find that you need to really explore with the reflector to find where it works, the closer to the subject the higher the illumination, the angle can play up big too, etc. I have made several reflectors ranging from various white paper (gloss, matt, etc), old projector screen, to aluminum foil. I seem to get good results from the crinkled foil. It is quick & inexpensive to make, works well so far. I carry a small one about the size of a deck of cards for flower shots. I like to use my jacket, or a diffuser to block the strong light out and then “pop” the center of attention (flower) to life with the reflected light. This can be subtle of dramatic.
Thank you codiac2600 for the kind words, I am a big admirer of your portrait work, you definitely set the bar for portrait work on this site.

Pentax *ist DL
Pentax 50mm F 1:1.2
Manfroto 455 Tripod
Manfroto 229 Head
Reflector by Renolds / Alcan – ha ha

Spyglass
Ha... I set the bar with the highest quantity of portraits

I thank you though for enjoying what I do.
01-18-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
Senior Member
Flaco's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Outside Chicago
Posts: 218
The 2nd one is a wonderful shot.
01-18-2008, 04:37 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Heinrich Lohmann's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Airdrie, Alberta Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 7,874
Everyone else has said it allready so I'll just say Thank You for posting them.

Take care, Heinrich
01-18-2008, 04:48 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Fritz's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Tillamook, OR
Posts: 1,219
Really excellent work. Very well done.
01-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #12
Veteran Member
xs400's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,754
Excellent portraits. And thanks for posting your lighting technique, it will come in useful for me someday.
01-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #13
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gresham, Oregon USA
Posts: 1,218
These are wonderful examples of natural light portraits! The second one is my favorite of the 2.... composition is excellent. Splendid work!!
01-18-2008, 06:54 PM   #14
Veteran Member
cardinal43's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,412
Please allow me to join the "praise" parade. Teriffic pics. I love your daughter's freckles across the bridge of her nose.
01-18-2008, 10:19 PM   #15
Veteran Member
spyglass's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 748
Original Poster
Thanks everyone for the support and encouragement. I was just thinking about cardinal43's reference to the freckles across the bridge of my daughter’s nose. She is just starting to explore the makeup world. Soon those freckles will just be a distant memory...... or with a few more bribes, and a few more sittings, maybe I can have my 13 year old for a bit longer. I urge everyone to snap a picture or two of their kids, or grandchildren this weekend. Youth is the one thing we all lose.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
afternoon, bit, camera, daughter, home, light, opportunity, photo, reflector, wife, window
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 candid, natural light portraits RBellavance Post Your Photos! 16 02-28-2009 06:11 PM
casual portraits by natural light JMR Post Your Photos! 14 02-11-2009 06:24 AM
Natural light portraits Falcons Post Your Photos! 3 08-12-2007 10:43 PM
B&W natural light portraits of my dad. Deni Post Your Photos! 3 07-08-2007 01:53 AM
Weekly Challenge #22 - Natural Lighting Portraits petekd Weekly Photo Challenges 36 07-01-2007 12:13 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:52 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top