Justin Lister

Dramatic Portraits

It doesn’t take a bunch of lights to build depth and drama in your portraits. I have found I can use one or two lights. This is one of my favorite setups and it is all about light placement.

I always start with one light then add more as I need it. In this case, I started with the Para 133for my first set of portraits. I placed it above eye level, with no diffusion and zoomed out all the way. This created beautiful soft light but made the skin glow almost like a silver beauty dish but softer. I have never seen this quality of light in any other modifier and that is one of the things that makes the Para 133 so special. I also placed it fairly close to the model so the falloff of light was greater, making the background darker. Remember that the closer the light is to your subject, the brighter they will be compared to your background.

 
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For my next set of portraits, I moved the Para 133 directly above the camera and lowered the exposure 2 stops. I then set up a 2.5 foot Octabox on a Siros 800 L directly above and to the right of the models. I placed it very close to them so it would have a very fast falloff and not affect the background. As you can see, this created shadows under the eyes but still kept some detail there. The Para as the fill keeps a catchlight in the eyes and makes the skin glow. I ‘m so happy with the depth and quality I can get with broncolor’s modifiers. Its like no other lights I have ever worked with!

For my next set of portraits, I moved the Para 133 directly above the camera and lowered the exposure 2 stops. I then set up a 2.5 foot Octabox on a Siros 800 L directly above and to the right of the models. I placed it very close to them so it would have a very fast falloff and not affect the background. As you can see, this created shadows under the eyes but still kept some detail there. The Para as the fill keeps a catchlight in the eyes and makes the skin glow. I ‘m so happy with the depth and quality I can get with broncolor’s modifiers. Its like no other lights I have ever worked with!

 
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Light placement was the key to making drama in these portraits. Change the distance of your lights and see how it affects your image.

 

CREDITS

Models:  Ali Lollas, Saylor Zurcher & Isaiah Weaver
MUAH:   Michele Taylor Style

 
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