It’s time for the Monthly challenge again with my photo club. The topic is Amazing Lights this month. Because of new entry rules in 2013 for the contest, I can only submit one shot to each category. I usually only do the digital projection category when I enter the contest.
In keeping with one of my New Year’s goals, I decided to do a portrait. I had an idea for using a Christmas tree we have that has branches with glass fibers that change colors. My granddaughter came over one evening and volunteered to be my model. I got everything set up and started trying to figure out the lighting. The tree was bright enough on its own but I needed one more light source for my granddaughter and a small ornament she was looking at. I hooked up my fancy snoot ( modified track light with 60 watt equivalent CFL bulb and a 10 inch piece of cardboard tube that just fits into the opening) and set it up so that the edge of the light caught the ornament and the main portion was on her face.
I experimented with shooting from several different angles and with the light at various distances from my granddaughter and finally found the one I liked best. It took a couple of tries because she kept moving her hands to different positions under her chin which changed the focus I had set up. I was shooting at f5.6 , ISO 200, and a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second with a 50mm f/18 prime lens on manual.We were in my basement so the only light was from the tree and the snoot. It really doesn’t take a lot of equipment to get a decent shot.
I took the picture into Lightroom 4 and used a gradient adjustment on the left and right side of the picture. That way I could brighten up the tree some without over exposing my model.
Here is the result ( you can click on it for a larger view) –
I hope you like the shot. I intend on trying some more portrait shots in the near future when I have the time.
Until next time –