I needed a quick self portrait for a podcast that I will soon record. It will ask the question, how is the Holy Spirit like music? Check back soon for a link to the answer.
This was a quick and dirty portrait taken with two speed lights against a moody sky about one hour before sunset. Conditions could hot have been more perfect. It only took a few minutes to set up and shoot the while thing. My steps were as follows:
- Placed my Panasonic GH3 on a tripod and pointed it at the horizon and sky.
- Set my shutter speed to the camera sync speed because I knew I would be using flash.
- Adjusted the aperture until the sky was dark and moody. A quick note about exposure. The sky was still quite bright as it was about one hour before sunset. This meant that I had to use a very small aperture to get the sky dark and moody.
- Placed a light stand in the position where I intended to stand. Then I set the camera to manual focus and focused on the light stand.
- Since this is a self portrait, I had to repeatedly move from behind to in front of the camera. I placed a rock under the center of the light stand. I knew that I would always be in focus if I placed my right food next to the rock.
- The main light was placed on a light stand with a shot-through an umbrella. The umbrella is just in front of my face and just outside of the camera frame. Because the sun was still up, I was required to use of a small aperture. The small aperture allowed little light from the flash to enter the camera. Therefore, I had to set the main light on full power and place it very close to get a correct exposure.
- I placed the edge light, a bare speed light, behind me and made several test shots to dial in the proper setting. Again, the small aperture required all the light the little strobe could produce.
- Then it was just a matter of shooting several poses until I got something that worked.
- In post, I darkened the guitar image to simulate a evening shot.
- The second image is just a test shot taken to test the lighting. It is a better representation of the actual light, although it has also been darkened a bit to produce a moody and interesting sky.
If you would like to hear the podcast this image was made for, click here.