Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Don't Have A Model!

     Talk about getting a new lens, getting another lens, and now getting a speedlight, it's exciting yet confusing.  But there's nothing better than using them all and learn from them all.

     Although it wasn't the reason for buying one, I've heard multiple times how the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens is made for portraiture.  Being scared of that field, but now having a flash unit, I thought it's time to summon my curiosity and just go for it.  Back then, I tried some mock portraiture on a statue.  It wasn't helping.  But right now, while I'm eager to take pictures of a person, there's no one around.  To be honest, I'm even more scared to ask someone to pause for me... as a guinea pig.

     But here I was, researching about lighting techniques for portrait photography, and I came across something that I'm very much interested in: Rembrandt.  All I gathered was it was dramatic, it has something about a triangle shape involved, and I really like the effect.  Perhaps there are many advanced techniques to do this but I thought it is one of the easiest methods to practice.  Or maybe because I really like it, that made me think I can do it.

    Again, I have no model.  So I decided I'll practice by taking pictures of my face.  Que Horror!

     It was definitely a huge learning curve.  Not knowing where to start on apertures and the rest of the settings, and it gets harder as it was hard to predict how the light of the flash goes.  The intensity, the angles, the positions, everything has to be considered.  That, on top of focusing properly, getting the right exposure, and fondling the remote on one hand, flash on the other.  And then worrying about the pose, the look, the framing, the expression, the leg cramps... again, Que Horror!

This Time I Hate Mirrors
On my first practice shots, I instinctively aimed for proper exposure.  With the surprising factors of the flash I'm holding, and light reflected from the mirrors on my left, this came out fine.  That is, if I was looking for a well exposed image.  I don't see any sign of Rembrandt here.

Turn Off The Light
And I did!  This time, I want to see the full effect of a single flash unit, hoping I could get the effect I wanted.  I personally like this picture because it reminded me of the candle light nights I've had with my family, when I was a kid.  But the image is too dark to appeal to anyone else.

The Triangle
After many more tries, I finally got the effect that I wanted.  Granted, this is not a great picture and there are so many things technically wrong here, but I achieved my single goal.  That Rembrandt triangle.

     The session ended with one last leg cramp.  But it was definitely invigorating!  I learned a lot from just point-the-flash-and-take-a-shot approach. Next would be to study them closely and see what works.  Thank you, Mr. Rembrandt.

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