One Light Portrait? HAH! Try Six....

Today we are lighting Jon with a six light array, will cut his image out, composite with a new background, make visual adjustments and then digitally paint the final image.

First, we start with a single 22" beauty dish, upper camera left. The light spills onto the backdrop, which is less than desirable.

The light spill on the white backdrop appears to be grey, thanks to the inverse square law.

The light spill on the white backdrop appears to be grey, thanks to the inverse square law.

When we clip on a grid over the beauty dish, the light is focused on our subject in a narrow beam that does not reach the backdrop.

To give separation from the backdrop a pair of strip lights are added at a 45 degree angle from behind the subject. I used 3' Westcott Flex Kit lights mounted in a Scrim Jim with diffuser to accomplish this.

Next, a 2' Flex Kit light was added in the front, lower camera right to light his shadowed side of face.

We could stop here with just the four lights. But no, we can't leave well enough alone...

Now, to make cutting Jon's image out for a composite background easier, we throw two flashes on the backdrop, one on each side.

Jon is beginning to look a little annoyed.

Now we back out for a long shot, mask this image and prepare to send Jon to London.

Using a photograph of Notting Hill Station in West London I shot last September...

I placed the train station on the layer under the cutout mask of Jon.

Time to add some dodging and burning...

The background and subject now have similar qualities that marries the two together that (hopefully) makes the total picture believable.

The final touch is to digitally paint over the image using different textures and brushes, and render this final product.

A closer look~

Finally, it goes to print. Because, it's not a picture until it's a print. That's what we do.

Till next time!