Kasia Photo Shoot

I love photographing people but I always get a bit nervous before a photo shoot. The images usually come out nice but I cannot know it for sure beforehand. Perhaps doing proper location scouting would make me feel more confident. This time I had a complete blackout in my head, no idea where to go. So we just walked until we came across this arch. I was attracted by its elegant form and color.

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Kasia is a musician. I really like her pose in the above image, which I believe resembles a musical symbol. I shot these photographs with a wide angle lens, 35mm on a full frame camera. I totally love looking through this glass! When used from a low perspective it helps emphasize the height of the model.

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I lit these images with a single small flash in a Lastolite Ezybox 24″ softbox. It gives a bit more punchy light than my Westcott Apollo but I really like this light’s quality and how convenient it is to set up. Just pop it open and throw it on a stand.

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Shooting at my sync speed 1/200 s, at f/6.3 and ISO 100 gave me an underexposure of the ambient by 1 stop. The flash was fine tuned until I was happy with the flash and ambient balance. Keeping everything in manual mode helped achieve consistent exposures.

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Racking out the lens to 200mm and shooting wide open (f/2.8) gave a shallow depth of field and strong compression of perspective resulting in a pleasing bokeh. Still using my Ezybox. You can tell where the light was by the shadows on the road and on her face.

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The nuns passing by in the background were no coincidence. There is a monastery nearby and at times we could hear the beautiful singing of the sisters. At this point I knew I got the shots and could relax. But as we walked back towards the city center I continued  photographing  just to get a larger variety of the images.

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For this image I used 200mm, f/2.8, 1/50 s, ISO 1600. The red shapes are car lights – I waited for them to appear in the right spot. As it was already dusk and I was basically killing the ambient (except for those car lights) I added a second flash, camera right, to bring some highlights and contrast to the shadow side of the hair.

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Back to 35mm but at f/1.4. This very last shot was taken rather fast at the Cloth Hall in the center of Krakow. I think strong graphical elements like these repeated columns make a great background for a full-body portrait.

Overall I am very pleased with the results. As always I spent a lot of time analyzing what worked and what went wrong. Next time I will have a more defined idea for the location but will stay open to any unexpected opportunities.

Kasia Photo Shoot

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Comments

  1. Leah

    As I am NO flash photog, I so appreciate the info on all of these!!! THANK YOU x 1 million.

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