by Chris Biele - PixBeat Photo
This is an image from a recent model portfolio shoot I did for a local model. She really wanted to add an animal image to her port and we were lucky enough to find a willing subject in Mojo, the fluffy pomeranian. The color images in this sequence are all very nice, but I really wanted to bring out the contrast of the black leather chair, the black headpiece and the black outfit compared to the model's soft white skin and the fluffy pooch.
The image was lit with a four-point setup. There was a 24" softbox as the key, coming from 45º camera left. This was gridded to really focus the beam. I used a small flash from camera right to illuminate the background, and snooted it to keep stray light off the model and chair. Directly behind the chair, sitting on the floor, was one of those continuous LED video lights that you can get on Amazon for like $30. I covered it with a white translucent umbrella to really spread the specular highlight. The rim light was from camera right, and is actually just out of the frame. It was a small flash, modified with a Wescott shoot through umbrella, the kind with the removable black cover. To keep the rim from vomiting soft light all over the place, I used the black backing to cover half of the umbrella. This added a nice soft strip of light to the model's face, hair and arms.
As with all of my images, selection and initial processing was done in Aperture. I can do a quick overhaul in here, including white balance, exposure, cropping, straightening and some basic cloning. In this case I also used the built in black and white tool for the initial conversion. The real heavy lifting, however, was done in Photoshop. As with most model or fashion shots I used frequency separation to get that perfect complexion. Then I headed into RadLab and played around with a custom recipe until I had the contrast I was REALLY looking for. I will usually apply a pretty strong RadLab recipe and then mask out certain areas that may look over the top, or even reduce the opacity of the layer if the overall look is too strong. Some final contrast and tone adjustments were made with a curves layer set to Overlay, and I finished off with some selective High Pass sharpening.
Model: Izadora Model
Makeup: Moona Joyner