Urban Portrait Shoot

I was recently asked by my long time friend, Natalie, whether I would like to photograph her boyfriend, Jason, and help him build up his modelling portfolio.  Naturally, I said yes and that I would be more than happy to do it.

The plan was to keep local and use some of the local backgrounds that I have recently discovered – in this case I was going to use the front of a disused cash and carry as well as the shutters of a local deli!

The kit that I used was my canon 5d2, 24-70mm lens, softbox, speedlight, and trusted pocket wizards.

We started off using the old cash and carry as the first setting.  Here, I used the softbox.  My camera settings were 1/160th, f4.0, ISO100.  The speedlight was set to 1/8th power.  When taking the shots next to the brick wall I just removed the softbox, and used the bare speedlight firing it into the side of Jason’s head so that some spilled to the side and onto the wall.

**Top Tip** When going for the flash fired from the back of the subject look, always remember not to fire it direct at his/her ears! As you will get red ears, and will not be able to get rid of it, even in post production.  Always get your subject to turn their head to the side slightly (thanks to Glyn Dewis for this piece of advice).

The other setting I used was the green shutters to my local deli (the softbox was replaced). I used the same settings as above and just adjusted the flash-to-subject distance.  As we were loosing light, I was adjusting the shutter speed in order to get more ambient light in.  On a couple fo the shots I had the shutter speed at 1/200, and aperture at f9/11 so that the cloud detail was captured.  However, to compensate I increased thh flash output by 2 stops, to 1/2.

I am really enjoying using off camera flash and lighting techniques.  It gives you the opportunity to try new things and, for me, it adds another dimension to your images. I hope you like the images, and please feel free to add your comments. Also, I have attached the animoto slideshow I did from the shoot – click here.