Two light portrait set up

In yesterday’s post about the new issue of Review magazine at Sheffield Hallam, I showed a page of images that were taken at an awards ceremony for Inspiring Teachers and Staff at the university.  This is the technical back story of how I shot the pictures, which were made at the very end of the evening as people were mingling before they left.  I’d been asked to shoot something a bit more interesting than just the awards themselves, but with a very short time with each subject (around two minutes per person).

I needed a very simple and quick solution, so decided to use a set up based on (but tweaked) the lighting I’ve been using for my ‘A Common Thread‘ project with the 154 Collective, which will be exhibited on Saville Street in Sheffield later in the autumn. This lighting set up is basically an overhead softbox (as large as possible) with a Lumedyne head firing through it, bounced onto a gold reflector (in this case a California Sunbounce) low down out of shot, with a slaved speedlight high and behind to pick up detail. Background was simply a blank wall in the corner of the room:

Two lights good…

This creates a really nicely shaped light with interesting drop offs behind and down the subject, but with enough balance of light to make the final image easy to tweak in interesting ways:

Philo Holland, SHU

This is quite a heavily processed look, which I rather like – but it’s not to everyone’s taste. The more straightforward image is here:

Less processing :: Philo Holland :: SHU

So a quick, relatively simple, but very flexible lighting solution, that I can use in relatively small spaces – very nice!
richard hanson :: photographer :: sheffield