Badass portraiture

Posted by on Jun 11, 2011 in model shoots | One Comment

I wanted to try this kind of portraiture with edgy studio light for a while and my buddy was kind enough to pose for me. We were going for the badass look which hopefully shows in the photos. I used a relatively simple three light setup for these shots. Two 66cm square portalites in the back left and right. Both were linked up to the Ranger RX with has symmetrical output power on both ports. The main light was a gridded 105cm Elinchrom striplight (the grid is a Lighttools grid). I positioned it horizontally above the camera pointing down. I like to use the striplight for portraits because you get a nice wide catchlight and your model doesn’t have to be in the exact same spot all the time. We used a ringlight for a few photos too but those didn’t came out the way I wanted for this theme. I dodged and burned the photos quite a bit in CS5 to get the extreme look that I was after.

I converted this first photo to B&W with Silver Efex Pro. It’s a great plug-in that allows you to select a conversion from many ready made presets. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to get a good result.

The color difference in these two shots below are caused by a different approach to post processing. The one on the left is desaturated by adding a b&w layer on top with about 10% opacity. I saturated the one on the right to make it look the way it does.

Another Silver Efex conversion. This one was also shot with the 8x ND filter to be able to shoot at f2.8.

I asked my model to look angry and/or show emotion and I think he did a great job. He doesn’t look angry in this last picture but I love how it came out.