Studio Shoot 8: Portrait


I was inspired by reading FACES: The Art of Portraiture by Paul Faqua and Steven Biveran which has numerous studio lighting techniques to follow. I also took inspiration from an article I had found online that demonstrates portraiture lighting techniques, so I began the shoot going through each technique (Digital Photography). I also find that this shoot replicates the ‘Green Line’ portrait painted by Henri Matisse within in fig. 3 and fig. 4. This was not my intention when starting the shoot but was an idea that came to mind when shooting and adjusting the light source.

I used one light source with a flash head reflector and a honey comb filter to create a directed, soft light. I also made use of some reflective paper that I fastened to a light box for extra effects but was not necessary for the shoot that I created.  I started with the light positioned slightly behind the model then asking them to turn their head to one side as seen in fig.1 to add more interest. I then moved the light forward slightly and took an image face on which creates the central line down the face. I am pleased with the images, although I have left too much space between the head and the frame of the image which is a frustrating error that I must avoid next time.

I have replicated this procedure in fig.3, and fig.4 by taking an image with the model facing forwards, then positioning them to the side towards the light. With the light being slightly in front of the model this creates the triangle of light as seen on the left eye, known as loop lighting. I used 1/160 sec shutter speed, ISO 100 and my aperture ranged from f/1.4 to f/11.

I took this image to create a strong shadow on the jaw line, I am happy with the image although I could have zoomed in fractionally further to crop out the logo on the models jumper and the red collar also seen in the above images, as I find to be distracting. I have found that I have achieved some of the techniques that I set out to but I also feel it appropriate to revisit this task and fully embrace each technique. I read the article from my phone whilst carrying out the shoot, on my revisit I will ensure I write down full notes and instruction with diagrams to replicate from.




Faqua, P. and Biver, S. (2010) FACES The Art of Portraiture. Oxford: Focal Press.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL (2015) 6 portrait lighting patterns.



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