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Thread: Just practicing lighting for portraits

  1. #1
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Hi all, i was bored and thought about practicing lighting for portraits, and couldnt think of how to go about it with out me being the model, than i remembered i have mannequins in the house, my grandfathers use to have people go through the house when he used the house as a starting point of the museum he spent a good portion of his life doing. And when he expanded the museum to the sheds he built he stopped showing people through his home and left the once scary when i was young mannequins where they were.

    Anywho, enough of my history and to the point, i used the model to practice on. So here is the photo, and i didnt do much editing to it because i wanted to practice the light set up, as well as the set up. So please let me know where/how i can improve. I think the hair light could be in a different position but due to the painted hair its hard to tell with out a wig.

    Just practicing lighting for portraits
    portrait lighting testing by AllenLennon, on Flickr

    Just practicing lighting for portraits
    portrait lighting test set up by AllenLennon, on Flickr
    And i think the model was a bit scared in this shot.

  2. #2
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    One of the scarier portraits I've seen recently!

    It's all in the eyes

    It's great that you've got a mannequin to pose for you and I think a wig might help with judging the effects of the hair light. I don't know if it would improve the look of your model though!!!

    Now it's time to try some varying lighting techniques. It's a shame that you cannot see catchlights though....

  3. #3
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Thank you Phil, yes the eyes "have it" lol. Out of all the mannequins i have in the house this one is in way better shape, the eyes where put on by someone i dont know who. And pardon my newbieness but what are catch lights?

  4. #4
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Catchlights are the reflections of your light source(s) in the eyes of the subject.

  5. #5
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    ah, i see. Thank you, i may have an idea on how to think about that

  6. #6
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Good pose. I wish I could get my mannequins to pose like that. She must have been experienced, and also felt comfortable with you.
    IMHO I suggest you crop just a little off the top of the of this very nice pic. Bruce

  7. #7
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Thank you bruce, but the whole purpose of this experiment is the lighting not composition.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    It is pretty difficult to see the impact of your lighting on the mannequinn. However, it seems like your lights illuminate the subject just about equally from each side.

    This mannequinn also moonlights as an occasional model for me.

    Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Her main occupation is to hold one of the wigs that my wife once wore when wigs were popular with women (no, it wasn't in time of Queen Elizabeth I). My wife no longer thinks about wearing the wig. (Oh how fleeting is female fashion!) So, I also enlist the aid of the wig which allows a bit more realism in the hair.

    I have the catchlight problem also with this mannequinn. The catchlights on the mannequinn are painted in. Allen, you can see them quite clearly in this image, they are the white dots at 9 o'clock in the mannequinn's pupils. If the eyes were glass, they would be more realistic regarding the catchlights. However, the skin and the hair are pretty realistic.

    Her best attribute is when I try to help someone set up his or her portrait lighting. The main attribute of the mannequinn family is their immense patience.

    Note: This was not a portrait lighting test, it was a series testing my 1.4x TC...

  9. #9
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Richard, thank you. I have in idea on how to get the reflections on the eyes. Was thinking of using clear tape or contact covering you put on the kids book.

  10. #10

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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    The other nice attribute of a mannequin is that its eye lids don't blink involuntarily; its eyes always remain open.

  11. #11

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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    I have in idea on how to get the reflections on the eyes.
    I wonder if clear nail polish on the eyes would do the trick.

  12. #12
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Just practicing lighting for portraits

    Mike, good idea...

    I suspect that if I painted the pupils over with black and then used some clear nair polish to make a shiny surface, that might work...

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