If you’ve been following this blog, you know I am heavily involved in a local amateur theatre group called ACT (a community theatre.) For the past few years – when I’m not already involved producing, or doing props or working front-of-house – I’ve been called upon to photograph shows – rehearsals, head shots for the programme, and the dress rehearsal.
My head shot technique for multiple photos is simple. Pentax K20D on a tripod with a 50mm Pentax lens (75 on a crop sensor). Station the subject in open shade with a tree line far enough back to be out of focus and focus on the eyes. ISO 200 (lowest on the Pentax), 1/90-1/125 second at f 4.5-f 5.6. I shoot them from both sides (a 1/8 profile?) and straight on; everyone seems to have a best side. I take about 20 shots of each person and reduce them to three each before I start processing.
I convert them to black and white, use a square format, and drop the clarity down a notch to even out the skin. The rest of the adjustments are minor, a bit more contrast here, a few more highlights there, and I adjust the individual colour sliders to fade the green background or make the clothing support the face above it. These are two of my favourites, one from 2013, one from 2014.
Ben Rowe of Aperture 64 challenged me to post a black and white photo per day for five days and to challenge five other bloggers to do the same. This is Day 4.