I went to two Drink and Clicks in December but haven’t posted any of the portraits that I often create at these events. Kim and Seven where at both, and I made this portrait on December 21st. It was a cheerful time just before Christmas and we expected a small gathering, but to our surprise, we had a lot of photographers and models. The warm glow and festive holiday lighting in the background captures the mood.
As I usually do, I shot with my Olympus PEN-F with the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 in black and white mode. The resulting contrasty JPEG black and white was OK, but a bit flat. I thought the color version had a lot of potential and the richness would create a warm holiday glow, so I did some post processing in Capture One. Here’s a quick description of what it took to create this image.
There was a weak continuous light to the right which aided the dismal lighting situation. Dim lighting, which is not unusual for a bar, necessitated me to shoot at ISO 1600, f1.6, 1/20 of a second and I added a whole stop of exposure compensation. Certainly not text-book portrait shooting conditions, but my previous experiments creating low light portraits helped.
The off camera lighting, mixing with the ambient light created some unpleasant color temperature variations. I used Capture One’s local color tools to remove the green cast from Seven which nicely color balanced the entire scene. I opted for a warm and rich portrait and I adjusted the kelvin and tint settings, along with a slight curve and a host of other post processing tweaks.
I’m guessing that all the post processing effort will go largely unnoticed, if I didn’t mention it. Which is the way it should be, of course. Low light performance, in body image stabilization and sophisticated post processing can do a lot these days. If I were a professional portrait photographer, I would certainly leave less to chance, perhaps lighting things in a more classic way. But as an enthusiast just having fun, it’s nice to push the envelope.
Just when I was happy with the portrait, on a lark, I did a black and white conversion. Now I don’t know which I like better, so I’m showing both.
I have a fair number of blog readers who seem to like black and whites, so I know which they’ll probably prefer.
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