I love shooting portraits - both the kind where I have creative freedom and those where I have to stick to a certain look and feel. The two photos I will show here today belong to the latter category.
Both photos are for online usage - company website, Linkedin profile etc. They needed to radiate seriousness and professionalism.
The lighting set-up need to be simple and fast to mount. I was only given 1 hour to set-up, take the photos and dismantle, before they needed the meeting room. My lighting source was a single Elinchrom D-Lite 4 (400W) studio flash with an Elinchrom Portalite Square Soft Box (40 cm) controlled with the EL-Skyport Transmitter mounted in the hot shoe on my D800. Even though I only needed an upper body a head shot I chose to bounce the light into a nearby white wall to soften the light even more. The model was place so, that some natural window light lit them on their right side (left on the photo) and my single light source lit them on the left side. To separate the model from the back wall I used the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens as the room was long enough to give me the needed working space.
I really didn't have to do too much post editing and only made some lens correction, small exposure adjustment and cropping in Lightroom. Finally a Color Efex pro 4 was used to add some skin softening (female model) and fine contrast (male model).
Product photography is a new endeavor that I have chosen to explore. A Danish manufacturer of kitchen and food equipment asked me to photograph their full product line for a new e-store soon to be launched. The task also included some stop-motion video's.
The lighting set-up was two Nikon SB-910 Speedlights mounted on Manfrotto Nano 5001B light stands. The light modifiers was a standard white umbrella and a Lastolite soft box. A couple of PocketWizards FlexTT5 was attached to the Speedlights and a PocketWizard MiniTT1 and AC3 was attacked to a Nikon D800.
The items was placed on a white dining table with a non reflective surface. From here on the task was to avoid deep and dark shadows, but still keep a hint of a shadow to preserve a dimensional aspect.
The item surface was rubber and metal. You can't imagine how hard it is to keep such surfaces free of dust particles. This becomes very clear when you look at the photos in Lightroom while doing the post processing. No matter how hard we tried to blow of dust and wipe the metal surface, hundreds of dust particle stubbornly resisted all attempts to get rid of them.
This is the photo straight from the camera. In post I first made a selection of the five components (combined they will form a pepper dispenser) and then applied a level adjustment to both the items and the invert selection (on two layers). Then the hard work removing all the dust particles started with the help of the clone stamp tool. Then some dodge, burn and blur was selectively added. The big light source reflection was removed with the patch tool, and the smudge tool was used to smooth the metal surface. Finally a surface blur was added. The whole post processing took 30 minutes.