"The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." - Chuck Palahniuk
I have always found this quote to perfectly summarize photography. Photography represents this inherent need within all of us to take our experience in this world and saturate it in just a splash of immortality. The ability to bend the light itself to our will and craft into physical form the brief moments that we exist is the only real magic left in the world. So I think it is something special when like minded individuals come together with one purpose and that purpose is to craft something that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. A team is born. A family. An adventure club full of dreamers and a dash of sawdust.
Each week we share with you our visions of the world around us but for the next few weeks we would like to begin a project whereby we focus on our visions of each other in our own styles and then give a quick breakdown of how we did it. This is my vision for our team portraits. - Mike Spectacle
For me, the best kind of portrait lighting setup is one that gets out of the way of the actual portrait itself. Sometimes the hardest part of photography is not getting lost in the technical settings, various modifier options and endless light source choices but rather removing the distractions so that the humanity can shine through. This week I chose to put that to the test by shooting with only the modeling light from an Einstein strobe and a reflector positioned in a traditional clamshell format. At f1.4, the extremely shallow depth of field was critical in highlighting the area of the photos I wanted to have the most attention. The choice of a 50mm lens instead of a longer and more traditional focal length of 85 to 200mm was intentional. I wanted to avoid the beautiful compression that longer focal lengths provide so that the viewer felt more directly involved by being right in the face of the subject.
Below is a lighting diagram for those who want to try out this style. Experiment and let us know if you have any questions.