Friday, February 22, 2013

Sometimes the Light Just Happens - Strong Directional Lighting Portrait With Leica M9

How Long Will He Make Me Sit Here? #1, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 Lens
iso 400, f5.6, 1/180 sec
 
Feeling limited by the gray days and cold weather lately, I was very pleased to walk into my dining room and see this lovely, warm, directional light coming in from the sunset. So, I called my favorite model (who happened to be home with me at the time) and made her sit for a few pictures. Eleven years old, she's not exactly patient with my need to get a photograph of her whenever the moment happens. Lucky for her, this light only lasted a few minutes.
 
I shot a few images of her with the lens that was on my camera, the W-Nikkor 3.5cm f2.5 that is this month's pick for Whole Lotta Leica. You'll see one or two of those images in my next Whole Lotta Leica post. Then, having at least a few shots in the bag before the light disappeared, I ran down to grab my 90mm Elmarit. The images you see here are all from the 90mm lens. Oh yeah, I also shot a couple with my Super Ricohmat, the camera I selected for February's Skeletons From The Closet project.
 
In any case, I love the warm directional light. There's just enough to see the outline of her hair, and the normally bright room behind her went nearly completely black. The picture above, and this next one, are both warm in tone.
 
How Long Will He Make Me Sit Here? #2, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 Lens
iso 400, f5.6, 1/180 sec
 
Looking back on it now, it would have been good to reflect a little light back with a reflector. The shadow from her nose is very distinct and dark. But, I didn't have enough time or hands to make that happen.
 

I think this type of light can also be a little mysterious and moody. That was my goal for the shot below. Converting the image to black and white makes it a little less warm. I suppose I could've taken that further with some cooler toning of the monochrome image, but I kind of like it like this:

Mood, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 Lens
iso 400, f5.6, 1/180 sec
 
So, the next time you see some interesting light in an unexpected place, don't just walk by it. Inconvenience someone you love so that you can get the shot! :).
 
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