Friday, April 22, 2011

Portrait Theory: Single Light #2

I was going through my old fashion portfolio and came across this shot of Ron Ames and thought is would make a good illustration for a second installment about classical portraits and single light setups.  I think it is always the case that that a classical style photographic portrait aims to emulate window light.  I this case, the "window" has Venetian blinds to add a little drama and mystery.  I found when I was lighting this shot that adding any additional lights or reflectors detracted from the overall graphic effect.

The lighting came from a single Broncolor flood/spot head in spot mode shown through blinds suspended from a boom arm.  Lighting from the left adds tension because is breaks from the convention established in painting.  The background is just white seamless paper. 

This picture is a digital copy of an 11x14 gelatin silver print made on the rich warm Agfa Portriga Rapid, which was partly bleached in potassium ferro-cyanide, then treated in Kodak Selenium Toner.  I always liked the blue/sepia split tone effect this processing yields.

Camera: Leica M2
Lens: Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M
Exposure: Agfa Pan 400, f/5.6 @ 1/30s 
Lighting: Broncolor studio strobe
Support: Gitzo Studex Tripod with #2 Pan/Tilt head
Location: Globe Building Studio, St. Louis, MO
Dates: Capture - April 17, 1991, Processed April 17, 2011
Processing: Lightroom 3.3

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