5 minute or so…. Portrait!!!

At lunch today I wanted to experiment a little at a fast yet affective lighting and camera setup for portraiture.

Well this is what I used and how I used it.

Camera: Nikon D80

Lens: 50mm F1.8

Filter: ND8 (to help with exposure levels, it was bright out, don’t hate me)

Flash: SB-600, (using the built in flash in the camera as a commander unit to trigger the    external flash)

Light-Modifier: Westcott-Micro Apollo

Tripod: Giottos MT 9370

While waiting for my friend, I setup my tripod, camera and flash with modifier. I preset the exposure to 2 stops under.  At this point my friend co-worker and fellow photographer Jim showed.  I had him stand out around 5 to 6 feet from the lens and to the left of center of frame.  A few exposures to dial in the flash power and position then began creating a few proper exposures, while I continued to work with the position in relation to the subject (Jim) until I came up with something close to what I was looking for.  Since this was a short, fast experiment at lunch.  I didn’t want to spend too much time fine tuning the image.  The point of this experiment was to see what kind of image I could create in a short bare bones time frame.

Well this is the last image in the line of exposures.  I am posting both the RAW unedited as well as an edited version of the final exposure.  Hope you enjoy.

Jim in the RAW!

Jim, playing model and extraordinary gentleman.

Jim in the edit.


What I did, I created 2 adjustment layer one for Levels and one for Curves.  Adjusting lightness, color and contrast.  On a 3rd layer I used the clone tool to take out highlight hot spots, a few blemishes and a stray hair or two. Then I made a 4th layer as an additional adjustment layer to modify the levels again and then isolate the modification to the eyes only to brighten his eyes just a touch. Just like when I created the exposure I didn’t want to spend a lot of time editing. Oh and I cropped the image to slightly reframe and create a more pleasing composition. I could have spent more time taking out the wrinkles and smoothing the skin tones, and on and on. Well this is how it turned out, not too bad for a 5 minute or so …. portrait.

Let me know what you think. I really would like some feed back, I am always looking to improve and to grow as a photographer.  Thanks

3 thoughts on “5 minute or so…. Portrait!!!

  1. Great. I also tried to do this in my 20 portraits project. I tried to make them as fast as I could with minimum equipment. A flash and an ND8 is all what I usually needed.

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