Artificial Portrait

Artificial Portrait

I think it's important for portrait photographers to occasionally remind themselves what it feels like to walk away from a shoot seeing doughnuts (from a ring flash).

So, as I was tooling around yesterday taking some self portraits I decided to make like Brad Trent and do what he calls an "artificial portrait" by pulling back to show the reality of the lighting being used to create the picture.

I usually find including your lights in the frame to be cliche, but Trent's portraits are about pulling back the curtain rather than than saying "Ooh, look at the cool gear that I have and you don't." He pulls it off.

As far as portraits go I've largely been influenced by the work of Dan Winters and Ben Baker, among others. I think my own style is somewhere in between the subtle but dramatic Winters and the high-contrast, almost surreal look of Trent, but for these pictures I went for the more contrasty look.

To do this right I should have pulled the camera back and included my ring flash in the shot too, but there was a wall right behind the camera position so I had to zoom out rather than back it up.

Also, I cut my feet off. Oops.

Below is the shot that I was originally going for (in my defense, I didn't have the best raw material to work with).

Swamp Gas

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