For my final “Staged Portrait” experiment that I shot last month, here’s Vanessa. As you may recall, I started this January Drink and Click portrait series, eight days ago, with her. After shooting that portrait, I asked Vanessa to move over to the bar to create a staged setup. The concept was of a well dressed woman with “attitude” enjoying a drink by the bar. She glances over with confidence before going about her business.
These are my favorite staged portraits of the mini-series. The combination of shadows and light has that film noir look and the setup feels the most “cinematic”, I think.
As usual, I was using a slow shutter speed, 1/13 of a second in this case, to maximize my image quality. Even so I shot at ISO 1000 and 1250. But the RAW black and white conversion with the purposely added light film grain retains excellent detail and image quality. I also did some extra darkening of the background to achieve the look I was after.
All in all, I’m pleased with the outcome. Enough so that I’ll do more experimentation. Though there’s always the fear that future efforts won’t work as well. All of this is new enough that I don’t think I can always replicate the look I’m after. But, I suppose, that’s the reason one practices.
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