I need to experiment with how my flash works, so when I found out I needed to create a new passport image of me – I decide it was the perfect opportunity to experiment with my speedlite, and my reflector and inspired by Gavin Hoey’s recent video on using my light meter – which you can see here – http://www.gavtrain.com/?p=4857
What an interesting experiment.
It is really difficult when I am the model – once again no one will willing to volunteer … but with the help of my tripod, a few clips, my shutter release, fixed focus 50 mm lens – I had a go.
My first discovery was that I really hate being in photos – however today i have no choice… so excuse the pained look on my face… I am going to give it a go. I am sat on a stool with a window to my left – an over cast sky outside.Me – straight out of camera, trying to work out what F stop to use with a fixed ISO and a fixed shutter speed. it is quite easy to do, and I think Gav is right … using a light meter is one of those things that make you look like a photographer – however you do need to know how to use it and not just keep it in the bag!
These images are all straight out of camera – the wall behind me is a pale green/yellow colour so it is interesting to see what auto white balance does as I take a variety of images. I have way to much shadow in the image above so i added a reflector to see what happened!
The reflector has a silver and gold sheen and it immediately reflects the flash back into my face – the image looks a lot warmer, my hair more textured – but I still have the shadow.
I tried with the reflector lower down in my lap and moved the flash so that is was angled to the right – still have the shadow, and now I have glare on my glasses.
I ditched the reflector … tried just the window and the flash … and I still have terrible reflections on my glasses and a shadow.
Then the sun came out – what a difference that made. You can see the highlight on the all behind me … I set up the shot again and waited for the clouds to come.
I moved the flash again and this time pointed in directly upwards and bounced it off the ceiling – the shadow has gone… but I need to check my settings again with the Light meter, because I had less light I increased the ISO.
With the new settings in the camera and it on manual mode – I got ready to try again. This time I got my daughter to help focus the camera for me ….
I have catch lights in my eyes but no reflective glare in my glasses – I have a usable image that I am happy with. Hurrah!
So now I played … don’t think it will make a passport image – but it is lovely how the flash freezes the movement in my hair. This is the photo I would like to include….
So what happens when you take an image into Lightroom or Photoshot to edit – well with the help of my Perfect Portrait pulgin, I was able to remove the stray hairs, smooth my skin, brighten my eyes add clarity to my pupils, highlight some of my hair – I don’t think it looks like me … but it shows some of the capability of the software I have access to.
The most interesting thing about taking a passport photo though is looking back at your last one and I thought I would share it with you … last time I took my passport photo was in 2012 … I think now I can be expected to be stopped at customs! I might not like showing my own image … I think loosing 5.5 stone or 33 kilos paid off…. never just look at my face image before!