Monday, 25 October 2010

Highlights ....gah!

Here is the latest image from this ongoing series. I love the expression on his face, and it was actually amazing to watch him get almost instantaneously into 'the zone' with it after a lifetime of performance and he was already well practiced in techniques to centre himself, so needed no instruction. However the bane of my life is now turning out to be highlights on the skin, which I absolutely do not want, at all, anywhere, not even a bit. It is actually driving me insane. It seems not to happen with this lighting set up on female subjects if they are wearing matt make-up but I am reluctant to start asking the guys to wear it too!!! I have tried varying the subject distance from the light source but then I need to shoot on f1.4 to get a proper exposure, so that's no good. I have used two diffusing sheets over the light source in this one and still it is happening. I have also got subjects to stand further back into the shadows and this I thought had solved it but having done the same process with this shoot again, still the highlights are there. I want a perfectly illuminated, natural looking light that wraps the face but doesn't glare off it. I absolutely do not want to have flashes going off as it will not be conducive to the process I am asking the subjects to work with. I wonder if using softboxes without a flash would be any better.


  1. Softboxes without flash would be hideous, I think this looks fantastic.
    why not try rolling off the top end using shadow/highlight in Photoshop if you're not happy? But to me this looks spot on, lighting from the side will always produce a little more highlight otherwise the other side will be far too dark. This, madam, is a perfect exposure and an excellent portrait.

  2. thanks lovely, I have already done exactly that to the shadow/highlights to get this, as it was a little harsher. I even used a quick mask, you would be proud. Thanks for info re the softboxes, saves me trying it out. It just still is not what I know it is possible to do and I will not be satisfied until i figure it out. If hendrik kerstens and pierre gonnord can do it there MUST BE A WAY. rrraaaagghhhh