Magazine Cover Test

As our final portrait was supposedly going to be used for the front of a magazine cover, I decided to create a mock magazine cover to see how it would fit and what it would look like.

I personally think it works really well as a magazine cover and it makes me happier with my final image. As I considered the spacing around the subject and how the photo looked while taking it, it paid off as the heading and subheadings fit without interfering with the main part of the portrait.


Editing My Portrait

This was my favourite image out of the ones that I took with the portable flash kit. When going through my pictures, this one was the one that stood out as to me it works on a magazine cover to advertise the River Thames. It also has all the things we needed to include in the portrait. They were the River Thames, an additional light source, and a portrait of a person.

I used Photoshop to edit my image. I slightly adjusted the brightness, contrast and shadows and then slightly adjusted it further with the dodge and burn tool to make the light a bit lighter and the darker parts a bit darker.

This image will work well on a magazine cover as it has space at the top to put a heading, and space at either side of the portrait to put captions, subheadings or even a small article.

THAMES portrait

Doing The Shoot

Although the original idea didn’t work out Im not too disappointed with how my images came out in the end. I still managed to get the city landscape in the background, the boats on the river, the river itself and show my additional light source. So all in all, my images include all I wanted in the first place anyway.

The male in my photographs works along the River Thames in construction. He works for a company called O’KEEFE who are currently working with MACE around the back of the O2 and along the river. He was on a lunch break and was more than happy to be in my photographs. I am glad that the weather held out while I was taking my images, the sunlight with the flash work well together and the blue sky in the background adds some extra brightness to the picture.

When taking my images I played around with the settings and brightness to reach a good balance of light. I had my camera settings on 1/125 and F11 with the flash kit on 2.8. This gave me a good result as it wasn’t too over exposed or too dark.

Attempting The Shoot

My shoot didn’t quite go to plan as I had hoped. I wanted to go to Greenwich beach and take my portrait along there, or Westminster bridge with the market stalls an was excited to capture some exciting images. However, hiring the flash kits out of CLR was what let me down with capturing the image I wanted. The first time I attempted to do this task, there was a sync lead missing, although CLR went through everything in the bag and told us everything was there. We got to location and ended up having to come back to university, but by the time we got back a few of us had to go off home to go to work. The second time, a similar thing happened except this time round, it was the mains cable that links the battery to the flash head that was missing. Again, CLR checked it all and told it was all there and because we were tight with time we dashed off to Westminster to start shooting. We got to location and realised the lead was missing, so again, we had to come back to uni an get a mains lead.

Due to timing with this task being completed, me and my group didn’t have any other days to do this task and I had a short amount of time to do it before I had a studio booked for a photoshoot. So to ensure we got this task completed, we went down the river at the back of the O2 arena and did our Plan B there. I was disappointed I didn’t get the chance to get the images I wanted but I was happy that I got to do the task in the end.

Test Shots

Before I shot my final images for this task I did a quick test shoot with some classmates. I used this to test how bright I wanted the flash kit and what setting I wanted my camera on.

At first my images were too over exposed so I turned the brightness of the flash kit down and also turned down my ISO, once I had done that they were coming out a bit better and not so harsh on the lighting side.

On my test shoot I had the lighting hitting the subject from the right hand side as I like the look of it on that side better than the left. I had a practise at getting the river and the city in the background too. When I do my actual images I am going to move the subject slightly out of the centre of the frame to be able to get a slightly wider view of the River Thames in the background.

Lighting & Equipment

While planning for my shoot I drew up some lighting diagrams to take with me on the shoot so I know the kind of lighting direction I want. While thinking of the shot I want to get, I decided that I want to have the city landscape in the background and also have quite a lot of the river and the boats in the background too. I want to have the sun/sky as my additional light source as well as using an Elinchrom Quadra Ranger Hybrid flash kit.  I have planned my shots in either Greenwich on the man made beach, or along the river behind the O2, near the cruise bridge with the boats.

Equipment List-

  • Canon 1100D Camera
  • Hot Shoe Adapter
  • SD Card
  • Ranger Quadra Hybrid Flash kit
  • QP Cards
  • Mac book
  • Mac book charger
  • Camera charger

Mixed Lighting Portraits

To get a better understanding of mixed lighting and the direction of the lighting on the person in the picture, I had a look at some mixed lighting portraits on location to see how the light direction looked. From looking at these images, I have decided that I want my lighting to come from the side of the subject in the image. I like the look of it being on the side of the face and body as it captures the facial highlights and gives a sense of direction.