Self Portrait

Dramatic Portrait

I was getting revved up last Fall to do more portraits.  I had viewed a bunch of videos done by .  Excellent course available on if you are interested. 

There is no shortage of material on Youtube and elsewhere for learning studio photography and lighting.  My learning process goes a bit like this.  I try and find someone’s photos I like, then figure out the lighting and do exactly what the other photographer did. That’s the first step.  The great thing with someone like Chris Knight is that he guides you through step by step.  I honestly knew a fair bit of the material in his video course but there were definitely some hole that needed filling in.  But more than that, the course showed me how to apply what I knew to what I wanted to do. 

The other thing that continuous learning does, is keep it fresh. 

Once I’ve duplicated exactly the techniques of whatever photographer I’m emulating, and after I’ve done it one or several times, I gain more understanding of what does and doesn’t work for me. 

At that point I can make some decisions of what to add or subtract or alter using other bits of knowledge that I’ve acquired.  Without the first step, I never really get to this third step.  But here I can add other things like some of the techniques of head shot guru Peter Hurley

And studying Dutch masters and how they used chiaroscuro or Leonardo’s “Divine Proportion” and working with these until they become second nature will go a long way to making your photos really communicate.  The way to do this is duplicate whatever process you are trying to learn. Do it over and over and over.  The more this is done the better your understanding and then the better you will be able to put your own create or spin on it. 

All dressed up and no-one to photograph because the world shut down!

So, I took to shooting a few photos of myself.  All the lights I used had modelling lights but that wasn’t a lot of use except for the backlight.  As a result I made more trips back and forth to the camera than I care to count.


The photo here was accomplished with four lights.  Camera right and very near and on the same plane I used a Strobepro 63” Para-Deep Parabolic Umbrella with STROBEPRO 600M Studio Strobe. Camera left, a 4 foot Octabox with grid and StrobePro 400M Studio Strobe.  Camera right behind subject (me) a 4 foot rectangular soft box with grid. Light for this is ProFoto  500. And to shed a little light on the back a small 80MM with a snoot. (

The model was very patient while I went through various combinations of power on the lights.  Thank god for the remote firing thingamajig!

Some tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop and this is the result. 

Never stop learning.

Tastefull Nudes

#portrait #dramaticportrait #headshot #portraiture #studioportrait #chiaroscuro

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