LED Lighting for a Nostalgic Portrait

When shooting with Rotolight’s Anova Pro BI-S Bi-Color LED Light, the optional ($250) barndoors are an ideal way to control the output.

The barndoors’ lightweight metal six-leaf design folds flat for easy storage and comes with mounting hardware and hex wrench just in case the doors loosen. The barndoors were helpful whether I was trying to focus the light on a subject, allowing it to go more low key by keeping light off of a dark background or when trying to replicate a vintage Hollywood lighting effect. These masters used large continuous sources making the Anova, with barndoors, handy for creating this kind of lighting, especially for portrait photographers who offer boudoir sessions.

This image was inspired by a 1940’s photograph of Rita Hayworth even though my subject, aspiring model Laura Bachmayer, is too young to remember Ms. Hayworth. This image was made in a 4×5-foot area just outside my home studio; she’s leaning against the studio’s doorway. A high ISO was used because the Anova was inside the studio and barndoored down to focus on the subject’s hair. I also had to make sure the light itself was not in the frame, which meant that there was little light striking her hair. a reflector at camera left provided fill.

Camera was EOS 60D with an EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (at 50mm.) Originally shot in RAW+JPEG, set in Monochrome Picture Style only so I could preview the final look. The color RAW file was used for the final image, because I find that it’s easier to retouch a color file than black and white. After conversion to Monochrome with Silver Efex Pro, the Glamour Glow filter from Color Efex Pro was applied to give that old Hollywood look.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMIf you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use lighting, please pick up a copy of “Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as Amazon.com, where your purchase helps this blog.

Author: Joe Farace

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