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Modeling light only?


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Most of our traditional family portraits are created in the studio with strobes. Last year, though, I started experimenting with just using the modeling light. (I know, I know...there are constant lights out there now...but somehow this feels different to me.)

When I used the modeling light with the #FE 85mm F1.4 GM and dragged the shutter - combined with the dancers' movement, I was able to create images like these:





Of course, we all know the Sony files don’t come in with grain like this, so it was added in LR to get a more film-like feel. 😊

I also used the modeling light to create this, also with the 85mm GM:


What are your thoughts? Have you used the modeling light alone? Does it feel different to you than using constant lights?

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Monica, these are beautifully done! I love the movement. This makes me want to try something new because I wouldn't have thought to use a modeling light in this way.

Thank you! It was definitely something new for me, but I love how they turned out. I added some camera shake on a few to exaggerate the feeling of motion. Also, the one with girl with the fabric around her neck - I used a fan to get movement in the fabric because she was standing still.

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It is a great look. Are you working on a tripod at very slow shutter speeds? I imagine it takes a bit of experience to know what shutter speed to shoot at to get a particular blur effect.

Hi Ira, for the black-and-white images I took the camera off the camera stand and deliberately added a bit of shake as I took the image. For the color images, I had the camera on the stand. The color portrait of the single girl I used a fan to get movement in the fabric.

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These images are great and this is great advice. I often gravitate to modeling because it feels more organic than the strobe. I shot a project recently with the Profoto B10X and used the modeling light about half the time. 

You're right - there is something about it! Do you find it feels different than shooting with constant lights?


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