Simple Two Light Outdoor Headshot

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 7.54.47 PM This is the last of the shots that for the outdoor headshot round. It is a similar to the others in that it is a two light setup with the model in the shade and the background being lit by late-day sun. The two lights are a soft box coming in from the left acting as the key light and exposed to f/8.0 and the fill light being a strip box and coming in from the right and exposed to f/5.6.  I shot at f/3.5 in this case using a neutral density filter to tamp down the light.  You can identify the lighting via the catch lights easily.  The lighting worked out pretty well because there wasn’t any breaking on the highlights of the skin, which can easily happen with lighting when you aren’t using powder. Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 7.53.59 PM If there is one thing that is missing from the shot, it is a good hair light.  His hair is nondescript and not dynamic.  Unlike with people with long hair, you often need a third light coming down from above to really get good highlights on short hair, particularly dark hair. I used f/3.5 because gave me a reasonably narrow depth of field.  I was about 10 feet away from the subject and the background was another 15 feet away.  The depth of field was about 4 inches in this case, plenty wide to get his whole face in tack-sharp focus, but narrow enough that the background would dissolve reasonably well.   If you aren’t familiar with depth of field calculations, there’s a handy website that will let you work it out at Depth Of Field Master.  Zooming in on his shirt and blazer illustrates the fall of focus.  The first crop is near the middle of his shirt and you can see each thread beautifully well, while the second  shows the shirt falling under the blazer and the focus is softening appreciably. Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 8.12.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 8.12.18 PM

All-in-all this was a good shoot that came out pretty well, we shot for about an hour doing six rounds of photos.  We took about 250 photos between the six rounds and had lots to choose from.  Everyone got at least one head shot that they liked.  We didn’t have the option to do much scouting for an environment and simply used my backyard.  I was still happy with the shots and enjoyed knocking these out.

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