How do you create a nice portrait in bad lighting conditions?
It’s 3pm in January, almost no light outside, someone asks you to shoot a portrait, and you don’t have your light kit.
Question: What the hell are you supposed to do?
Answer: You grab whatever light source you can find, in this case an old Ikea lamp (very orange light source that is gonna conflict with the exterior light, very blue).
Then you grab the coolest table you can find, put it next to a window and a white wall and you’re almost there.
Then, place the main light source (old Ikea lamp) exactly in front of the model so the big shadow goes behind the model and not on the side.
Once you’re done (and that’s where you’ll look like a moron), you have to place your camera so you are basically at the same place as the lamp. Chances are you’re gonna have your face against the lamp.
This way, camera, lamp and model are aligned and the shadow is hidden behind your subject.
Once that’s done, you shoot and you end up having either a well lit subject with a blue wall (remember the window on your left with blue exterior light coming in…?) or a well lit wall with an orange model. (Thanks Ikea !!!)
Had you had your light kit, you would have put gel on the window (or on the lamp) and fixed the problem right there, but you didn’t.
So the last trick is to fix your photo in post. Meaning you decide to go with the photo that has the blue wall, and since your model (who has gray eyes by the way) is not wearing any blue, you simply desaturate the blue all the way on photoshop.
Boom! White wall with correctly lit model!
Time spent, 5 minutes during the shoot and about 5 minutes in post.
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