Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Middle-tone gray critique, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Studio Portraiture.
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So you've seen how we bleach a background, how we get that beautiful dropout…white as we call it.…But we don't only want that.…We want to get more than that out of a shoot and one of the devices we use is a…very elementary one.…I wanted you to see this.…We get this look and it's done in a very simple way and in a very deliberate way, …and you keep the flow going.…People don't even know that any change has been made and we could change the…background paper, yes, and all that sort of thing, but we don't want to take the…time because we want to keep the momentum. We want to keep the spirit of the…subject going and moving.…
What do we do?…We'll switch off the background lights.…These two lights that have been bleaching the background are turned off.…So there's no light on them ,but now what's happened is that background is…only being illuminated from these lights up here, our key lights, our key and our fill.…There is no other light in the room and that gives you that grey look, and…that's the result of having this distance from the background.…
In this installment of the series, Douglas demonstrates how shooting in a studio allows for precise lighting control and consistency. The course begins with a look at the strobes and light modifiers that Douglas frequently employs for studio portraiture. Douglas positions the lights and then shoots a variety of portraits, demonstrating how he works with a model to capture different moods and positions.
Finally, he reviews the best images from the shoot, analyzing the lighting techniques he employed and showing how judicious use of Photoshop can enhance a portrait without making it look unnaturally processed.