Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Shooting a softbox portrait

From: Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera

Video: Shooting a softbox portrait

Douglas Kirkland: Hi Owen! Owen Roizman: Hey Douglas! Douglas: Hey how are you? I am glad we can do this today. Owen: Oh yeah. Douglas: We have done once or twice before; Douglas: I've been in front of your lens I think a few times. So Owen, we are going to do a Polaroid. Turn away from me just a little, yeah. That's right, maybe a little more, yeah. That's cool. That's nice, nice, nice, nice, great! If you don't mind, try the opposite side, swing the other way. You know, by the way, it's interesting, I like this side of Owen, because you will see a different look on different people. Frequently, like I have with my part I think on my hair this way, and if I was on this side, it might not be as good as if I was on that side. But you don't have to tell your subject about that; just observe it. Say to yourself, "Which is the best side?" Don't get into a big conversation about it, because remember, your subject may be very nervous.

Shooting a softbox portrait

Douglas Kirkland: Hi Owen! Owen Roizman: Hey Douglas! Douglas: Hey how are you? I am glad we can do this today. Owen: Oh yeah. Douglas: We have done once or twice before; Douglas: I've been in front of your lens I think a few times. So Owen, we are going to do a Polaroid. Turn away from me just a little, yeah. That's right, maybe a little more, yeah. That's cool. That's nice, nice, nice, nice, great! If you don't mind, try the opposite side, swing the other way. You know, by the way, it's interesting, I like this side of Owen, because you will see a different look on different people. Frequently, like I have with my part I think on my hair this way, and if I was on this side, it might not be as good as if I was on that side. But you don't have to tell your subject about that; just observe it. Say to yourself, "Which is the best side?" Don't get into a big conversation about it, because remember, your subject may be very nervous.

Nice, one, two, three, good. See how easy that was? Okay, this time I am timing 30 seconds, this time, so in a half a minute we'll see the result. And I feel pretty secure that this is going to work, so Miranda, could I have, yes, reset the diaphragm a little lower, and give me a roll please. Thank you Jeremy. And now, if Owen, or I, or anybody who is working with me doesn't like the Polaroid, we will make changes.

The Polaroid is square. It's not framed vertically, as I am doing here, because most of the work that I do on this campaign, in fact, I think almost all of it--oh, there we are--has been vertical. Okay, here we are. Okay, what I like is this is our blocking shot, so to speak, because I will allow you to move around a little and everything as we get moving and shooting. I like the separation we are getting from the back light, and it's gray over here, just from the distance it is for marquee. And yes, you are right to observe that reflection on your glasses.

I have been watching it very carefully, and how much fill light do we want? I want some, but I don't want it to be a one-to-one. I don't want you to be flat. But what I will do probably with my camera as we shoot is come in tighter, and you will be free to move around, but this basically shows you what our square one is. Owen: Great! Looks good to me Douglas. Douglas: Thank you. Am I hired? Can I keep my job? Owen: Yeah. Douglas: Thanks. Now what happens if you lean on a hand? No, I mean like so. Yeah, don't-- by the away, anything I ask you to do that does not feel comfortable, just let me know, because the object here is to make you feel comfortable. Okay, just, that's good, that's good, that's good.

There is frame one, now, okay great! And notice, I keep talking. I am not quiet. Oh, what you did, I just observed what you did there. Yeah, I love that. I love that. Yes, yes, yes. Now this is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Yeah, I just saw a natural move, and it's a wonderful one. I love that. I am coming in tight, because I want to get it really tight. I am on the long end. I am at 200 on the zoom, and you will see me focusing out there. Okay. This is good! This is a hotbed. I feel good! Oh, I feel really good.

And Miranda, can you give me the 1x4 multiplier, please? I want to just go to a slightly longer lens. I am putting the 1x4 multiplier in, and I'll increase the exposure one stop with it. What does it do? It makes the 200-millimeter lens become a 280, Douglas: okay, and so one stop open. Miranda: So you're on eleven and half, Miranda: so I'm thinking you want eight and a half, Douglas: Yeah, thank you. You know, it's interesting how things evolve. And again, I am talking to you Owen, as well as my other friends out there, because--this is nice. This is nice.

This is what really excites me about photography. I am may be photographing the most beautiful woman in the world, or a friend like Owen, but at this moment when it's really clicking, I really truly get excited. See, you'll notice me tipping the camera. Nowhere is it written that everything has to be up and down, because especially on a portrait like this, it's where the excitement--just imagine if you were cropping a print or something. Well, I am doing that in the camera. This is very, very special. Okay.

Now ask yourself Mr. Photographer-- that's me at this moment-- I always do, everything is locked down and wonderful. Owen is great. Everything he is doing--if you stay there, I'd appreciate it, but I am watching everything he does. Oh, consider what else, what happens if you push your glasses up for a moment? Just push them up. Look, yeah, yeah or put them up. Just lift them up, just lift them, Yeah, yes, yes, one hand, that's nice. That's nice, that's nice, that's nice. Now we found another picture here. And so, ask yourself a number of questions as you're shooting at this point.

You say, is there something? Lift a little higher please, push them up a little. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, that's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I am going to go wider. Just stay there, Owen, if you can, and then I'll do a Polaroid. What I am doing is seeing the great picture, but I am also saying to myself at all times, is there something I should be looking for beyond this? And that's part of the key. I am happy again once we see the crop vertically, and I've got a closer version as well.

Douglas: I hope you like it--I do. Owen: Yeah! Douglas: and then we have a closer version when we come in really just on your face, because you have a great warmth in here which I love. Owen: It's very nice. Terrific, thank you. Douglas: So, thank you! Douglas: You know, we have done this two or three times before. I think today, strangely, and I mean this genuinely, we are going to have the best pictures ever. Owen: Thanks, well, we're finally learning. Douglas: Yeah, exactly, we keep practicing. Douglas: Here I am 20 years later, I should, because I think you were one of the first guys I photographed in this series, an early one, and then I photographed you Douglas: once or twice later, Owen: Yeah.

Douglas: with your son, Eric, is that his name? Yeah, it was great! Owen: Yeah, yeah. Douglas: Eric, his son, is a wonderful cinematographer as well. It runs in the family. Anyway, great! Okay, let's go out. Let's take a break and do another setup.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.