Two Light Executive Portrait – Photography & Video Tutorial


♪ [music] ♪ – Hi, this is Jay P Morgan. Today on “The
Slanted Lens”, we’re on the top of this roof downtown in Pasadena
with East West Bank. Wer’e gonna shoot these
three executives a one light portrait. We got a great
background behind us. As the sun is getting a little lower on the horizon,
it gives us a little brightness because I’m looking straight into the sun
that starts to silhouette the buldings behind us. So, what I’m
doing is taking my shot. I’m going to speed it up. I’m gonna
make it a little quicker so I can make it darker on the background
but that gives me a silhouette of the buildings.
I’ve added a second light so our one light set up
has gone to a two light set up. We got a nice key light on the right side
with a nice fill on the left side. That kind of gives us a working place here
as the sun starts to go down. This is gonna start to change completely
every few seconds as we go in to sun set. We’ll be taking our shutter,
making it longer and longer, to be able to get us the correct exposure.
So, you guys ready? – [together] Ready. – Let’s get started. Now, our shots start out as a one
light portrait but as the sun starts to fade and the ambient goes down,
we’re going to add asecond light as a fill and our one light executive portrait turns
into two light executive portrait. I really wanted to shoot something unique
with our bank executives, so I asked if we could get up on their helicopter pad and
shoot back towards the Pasadena cityscape. It took some doing but
they got permission. So up we went to get
ourselves all set up. The railing was pretty high and it kind of
made it hard to see the city. So, I was maybe a bit concerned
as we started to set up. So, we set a time lapse up
on the helicopter pad. We started recording our time lapse and
forgot about it and just went to work. You know, I really
couldn’t find a good spot. I couldn’t find a good
angle that I liked. I hate that when it starts to happen.
I start to stress because I can’t find the place. I know our executives are comin’.
I start to feel the pressure of gettin’ everything
ready to go. There’s a tall roof over the stairwell
that was higher than the helicopter pad.
The suggestion was made, let’s go check that out. I had seen it earlier as we
walked by and looked up the ladder but there was a padlock up there. So
I thought well, we can’t get in to that. But as it turned out, when Lars went
up there to check it, sure enough, the padlock wasn’t locked. So we popped
it open, jumped up on the roof. The minute I hit the roof,
it just felt perfect. I was up high enough to be able to see
straight into the city, there’s no railing. It was just the perfect set up.
For me, until things feel right and I can see the image,
I just have to keep looking. I walk around with the camera
in my hand, looking for my shot, you know, before any lighting goes up, I’m
gonna do that. When I pack the car, the van, or the truck, the thing I want
on top is the tripod and the camera. So, that’s the first thing I can grab.
I can get out, set it up and find my shot. Later, we looked down and there was a time
lapse going of the empty helicopter pad. But you know, we found a great
spot, we got a great shot, and that’s all that matters. So, this is kind of my process
as we did the shoot. I start out with a single
key light and I’m gonna use the ambient as the fill light. My exposure
is about an 80th of a second at F-11. The key strobe light is very subtle.
It’s just meant to open up the shadows on his face, kind of clean the light up.
I shot a series of these images using this set up. I quickly found
that I really need the background a little more out of focus. To accomplish this, I added a three stop
ND on the camera. You know, on a 24 millimeter lens, you can
drop the background very far out of focus. But it helps to kind of soften it and I’m
gonna shoot stuff long and short. As I shoot longer lenses,
it’s going to make a huge difference. A 135 or 200 mm lens is gonna fall
way out of focus on the background. Here’s some of the images that
we shot, which is that single light setup. You know, I shot high, medium
and low angles. I love to do that. Different perspectives, different images.
The whole shot changes when you change perspective. So, here’s several different angles
with different lenses. I added a key light slightly
off from camera left, be the main light on their faces,
and then added a fill light for the camera right to open up the
shadows. The ambient is too far gone, I’m trying to balance it with the sunlight,
so I need that fill light now. I now move the guys to the edge
of the building to look right into the setting sun. You know, I kept that ND on
and here’s my ambient exposure. I’m shooting at F5.6 to sixty the second. Really, the light is dropping now. I move the guys to the building edge, kind of this little corner
that was really cool. This made for a great set up
for the end shot. Here’s our first shot
with just the ambient. Both strobes are re-positioned,
camera right key, camera light fill, and we started shooting. We’re looking right at
the sun as it’s setting, so the sun’s coming in
and out of the clouds. It gives us a really
great flare, very fun. Here’s some of the final
images from our shoot today. I took the opportunity to take some
shots at the very end. It was a lot of fun. You know, looking for the right
place, with the right light at just the right time can
make a huge difference. It’s really important to not
just take whatever you’re given, but make sure you find what you want. Look hard. Have that camera on hand,
search the area, find a place that’s going to work for you. Don’t give up till you got what you want
and then go after it as hard as you can. It makes for a great image. Keep those
cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’. Hi, this is JP Morgan. Today on
“The Slanted Lens,” we’re going to review a new strobe head by Photo Flex
called the Flexflash. This is a mono block, which
means you have your power and your strobe head all in the same housing.
You just plug it in, turn it on, you’re ready to go. The ease of these is
just, they’re simple. They’re lightweight,
they’re simple to carry with you, you put them into a case,
you take it with you. They have a 200 watt version
and a 400 watt version. The 400 watt version is about
5 pounds and change. The 200 watt is about four pounds
and change. The 400 watt second unit will give you up
to 1800th of a second in flash duration, which means you can freeze
action very easily with these. That makes it extremely valuable. They’re one, very consistent. We got the
same light out of it each time we used it. And two, it’s small enough,
I put it in the cauldron. It was easy to use in that way. So, first off, it’s set up on a
bowling’s mount, which means you can, reflector is gonna
work with all the other bowling’s mount equipment that I got
from several generations. Soft boxes and reflectors, everything
goes in seven inches reflector for grids. That bowling’s mount
is really easy to use. Just put on there
and it clicks into place. Let’s flip this thing around, take a look
at the controls on the back. We’ve got a button here that turns on
our modeling light on or off. We’ve got the ability to
turn the sound on and off. Do we wanna hear it cycle and that little
beep when it comes up to full cycle? We can turn our slave on and off,
be able to use with slave eye on the back or turn that slave eye off and use it
either with a pocket wizard or as a direct connected cable. And then of course we have the ability
to ratio our light up or down. It has a test button right here.
You’ll be able to test the flash when you’re using it.
And it’s pretty much ready to go. There’s not a lot that you have to know,
which makes this really valuable to me. Two or three of these in a case with an
umbrella or a soft box and you’re good to go to do a
three point light set up. So, Flex Flash by Photo Flex.
Take a look at and see what you think. ♪[music]♪ – Thanks for watching “The Slanted Lens.”
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