Saturday, September 6, 2008

Striplight part 2


1 Vivitar 285hv
flash at 1/2 power,
at telephoto zoom,
through a striplight (20x90cm),
Striplight was vertical,
top was about 1.5 meters height and bottom .6 meters,
.5 meters in front of the subject's face, and slightly behind subject.

A website I frequent is having a self-portrait competition. I noticed from the many submissions so far, they were all very different from the classic portrait techniques. When I was in art school, every time a brief was given, it had an immediate obvious interpretation, but was open to more experimental stuff. Every member of the class would try to push the brief to it's utmost limits, and do something as obscure as possible. This left the class interpretation relatively untouched, and I routinely tried to work on something well done, but that fit the more obvious example. I found it fun to try something basic and simple, but try to work more on quality rather than getting lost in originality purely for it's own sake.

I wanted to use my homemade striplight again (I have a real one ordered on the way, I love striplights now). I originally tried some straight on shots, like this:


And while I liked it, and it looked how I envisioned in my mind, I decided to try a few more poses. Again, I ended up getting my favorite of the shoot (the first image) when I tried this. I also found that the different poses ended up working with different crop formats.

One thing that I like so much about striplights, is that you get soft lighting, but can still reveal volume and shadows. It's only really soft in one dimension, which gives tons of room for interesting lighting setups. I was originally planning to get this main strip light setup correctly, then I was going to pop in a 2nd flash, but it worked so well as is, there was no need.

striplight_portrait-2 striplight_portrait-3


  1. hello Ben!
    thanks for sharing for us!
    i like side photos...

    keep it up.

    btw, why u didn't use backlight?
    i guess it would looks cool.



  2. I find that with bright backgrounds, it has a more upbeat and busy feel. I've seen several photos recently with darker backgrounds, and I wanted to try to use that. Thanks for the compliment. :-)