Strobist is to blame for me being a photographer, among other things. And while I was one of the late early adopters, I did see the site evolve into more of a product-oriented commercialized blog instead of a discussion on technique. Of course this isn't unusual, nor could I begrudge David of making a living off of all the work he puts into it, but it was still with some excitement that I saw new lessons for us to follow and try out technique were being posted.

The new bootcamp assignment was little more than a warm up stretch for a lot of us, but since my approach to headshots has been a little disjointed, I thought that taking time to plan out a well done headshot would be good for me. Of course, all my intended planning went out the window when my subject just happened to be hanging around while I was teaching a private workshop.

More after the jump.

Don Castle, another photographer at the Russell Industrial Center was watching me teach about studio lighting when I figured now was as good a time as any to get the assignment done. My student had only worked with one model for the day, and I wanted him to see the difference in lighting modifiers. Thankfully, he was up for a quick sitting. This portrait was shot with two lights, both WL 1600's. The main light was a high right softbox, giving some nice, soft but directional light. It was positioned keeping in mind that Don would be wearing his glasses. I didn't want to spend all his time fiddling with the light get rid of the reflections. The fill and rim light was another softbox over his shoulder, filling in the left side of his face, and providing a nice little highlight on the side.

The only mistake I could see was that we really didn't have enough light in his eyes, partially because he was squinting a little while I caught him laughing, and also because the main softbox was coming in a little high. Lowering it would have fixed that, but I really liked the falloff top to bottom.

And with the exact same lights and setting, throw in someone with a little less character in the face, and that nice fill on the left side becomes a vampire-worth highlight. The eyes are much more visible, though perhaps not as wise. Also, what the heck is up with my hair?

So while I didn't really plan as much as I would have liked, I got a lot out of this basic exercise. A new 2 light setup instead of my usual 3, an interesting subject who's full story I have yet to hear, and the knowledge that I can pull this off without having to spend hours planning. I work better on impulse than careful planning in most cases.