Sometimes Simple is Good


I enjoy complicated set-ups that require planning and work to create a image, but then there are times that i just want something simple. Such was the case a when I had the opportunity to photograph Jennifer in an abandoned house. After shooting the Van Helsing series, promotional material for the web series Darke, and press kits for indy musicians, I just wanted to do something very simple. There is nothing more simple than a pretty girl next to a window.

The light coming in was very soft but there wasn’t much of it. So to keep the look without having to crank up the ISO I placed a bed sheet outside the window and fired a single strobe through it. In order to prevent shadows on her face from going to dark I placed a second light on a white reflector on the floor. This was set to its lowest power so it just adds just a touch of light to her face.

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When I brought in the chair I had to make an adjustment to the lower light so it didn’t show. One of the keys to using this is the floor light has to be invisible. When I had Jennifer sit this brought her closer to the light. To solve the problem I moved the light back to help reduce the power. In post I adjusted the color to match the mood of the pose so that one appeared to be taken much earlier in the day than the other.

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I wanted to try something different so placing a light outside the window again I fired the strobe through the window and bounced it off a white reflector. I could adjust the softness of the light by moving the reflector closer to Jennifer. The effect was like northern light coming through a window, very soft and with gradual transition from light to shadow. For the final images I went with ambient light only. The front porch of the house acting like a massive softbox reflected light off the walls and ceiling giving a extremely soft light.

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I have to say thank you to the home owners for allowing me to use the old home. One of the great things about the south is people’s generosity in sharing. Many of the locations I have used were made available because someone was kind enough to  allow access.