Prince of Arabia

August 17th, 2009

The PrinceA short while ago, I bribed a very good friend of mine into using him as a guinea pig in a lighting experiment.

I enticed him into the project by dangling a few swords from my collection in front of him, and letting him take swings with them.

The Prince's New ToyThe Prince at PlayThe Prince Prepares to Attack

With all my fiddling with knobs, buttons and settings, he proved a very patient subject – that is when he wasn’t taking swings at me with five feet of sharp 200-year-old steel. 😉

I learnt quite a lot from that session and I’m very grateful to him for it.The Prince Approaches

The lighting setup? One SB900 in an Ezybox Lastolite softbox and an SB800 with its diffuser attached and stood on my cats’ scratch post.


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Posted in Portraits | Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Prince of Arabia”

  1. Daniel Nahabedian Says:

    Great stuff Z! Next time you try fun stuff like this, I’d like to watch! I’m still a newbie when it comes to artificial lighting portraits haha!

    The photos turned out pretty well. I just think that on some of the photos (mainly the first one which is a beautiful portrait), there has to be some balance between the light and shadow parts. Did you use anything to bounce the lights? Relectors? If you want cheap reflectors, use the silver sun protection things you put on your windshield in your car (what’s it called?). These are far better than paper.
    Also, I think the light coming from the side has a “bad” angle, which gives weird shadows on the face.

    Not easy man.. Good luck!


  2. Z! Says:

    Thanks Dan!

    I’ll definitely let you know ahead of time next time I manage to organise this sort of thing.

    I know what you mean re the first shot. I lit him from camera right with a blast of light from the SB900 in a softbox, and used the SB800 from camera left to provide fill, powered down a few stops. I think he was waving the sword around at the time, contributing to the weird effect you mentioned.

    Oddly enough tho, I kinda like it that way. No?

  3. Daniel Nahabedian Says:

    Actually, I think that, IMHO, the right side is actually overexposed.
    It kind of makes the eyes look weird. Maybe the flash was too close? or too powerful?

  4. Z! Says:

    Hey Dan,

    You’re right. The eyes do look weird. The unprocessed image isn’t over exposed tho. Can send you the colour version – all the detail is there. It’s just the way it was lit (and the conversion to B&W). The light hit his eye and the area immediately around it in such a way as to make his left eye appear rather different to his right. It’s not a great image. But I enjoyed the odd lighting. And I know what NOT to do in the future. 😛

  5. Ayla Says:

    I like the way the light effects the prince’s face in the first portrait! I thought you did it on purpose. It’s interesting and when i first looked at it, obviously the left-hand side really stuck out and so his features did and they became sort of imprinted in my head… i dont know why but i associated those features then with his princeliness.

    The last portrait is amazing. It is artistic, but i also imagine it being tattoed on the back windows of the hummers belonging to his loyal subjects…

    Must have been fun!

  6. Z! Says:

    Thank you so much, Ayla!

    I did have loads of fun shooting them and am very glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

    Yeah, the lighting’s nuts in the first one, hehe. I was trying different things with the lighting and this is one of the results. Call it semi-intentional. 😉

    The last one is definitely one of my favourite portraits from the small pile I’ve taken recently. I’ll let my friend in on your comments.

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