Wen and Only Wen
About a month ago, I had the chance to spend a weekend in Taipei. To kill time, I decided to scout for models via Modelmayhem. Since I was traveling, I was only able to bring limited gear. The other restriction was location; the temperature outside was 90+degF with high humidity. Given these two challenges, I decide to do a glamour set in my hotel room. I chose Wen because her portfolio shows she is experienced with my theme; sure enough, she did not disappoint me. She is full of energy and always excited to improvise on my ideas no matter how dumb they were. The excitement she brought made the shoot extra fun.We started with basic head shots to warm up. For the shot above, I moved the table in the middle of the room and used it as a posing table. Then I placed an SB-800 with a silver umbrella slightly to the camera left. A 2nd SB-800 (bare) was placed behind Wen to camera right as hair light.
Next, we worked on some experiments with window lights. I had some difficulty with the fill-light. First I tried using the silver umbrella and SB-800; but it did not come out natural. It turned out the best shot (to me) was all natural light. The key to this shot was exposure. Metering was a little tricky because of the flood of light pouring through the window. Next time around, I would just use manual metering and make sure the subject’s skin is exposed correctly to bring out good contrast.
Post-processing again was mainly focused on getting the exposure correct on Wen’s skin; then adjusting the contrast to make sure there is not too much flare. I ran the picture through Nik’s high-key filter and lowered the color temperature to give it a cooler tone.
The idea for the above came from Paula Anddrade of Brazil. She did a series of silhouettes which were very inspiring. I just wanted to figure out how she did it. The exposure technique may come in handy someday.
By the way, Wen goes by ONLYWEN on Flickr. Check out her work; she rocks!