Friday, December 31, 2010

15/52 Brenda Eval

Despite having been sick for going on three weeks now, 52 portraits marches on.

Brenda Eval is a Chicago-based part time community organizer who also works for a micro-loan company giving much-needed credit to upstart businesses in impoverished countries. When she's not busy working on behalf of others, she gives what little free time she has to volunteer at a community center which focuses on helping out at-risk youth. 

Brenda really wanted me to say something nice about her in her bio.

That pretty much means I had to make it up off the top of my head. Sorry Brenda, couldn't resist.

Brenda ACTUALLY is a coworker of mine from Mercadito. Despite her relentless insistence that I had prior experience, she trained me when I started working behind the bar for the first time. She's been a staple of the Chicago service industry for several years now, and works at Double A lounge as well as upstairs making margaritas. When she's not at work she loves going out, and that's the theme we decided to go with for her portrait. Brenda getting ready for a night on the town.

We did a few different looks. The original idea I had was Brenda rifling through her closet trying to decide what to wear. We did some of those, as well as a few other looks. As for the lighting, I used a reflective umbrella high camera left and a bare strobe back camera left with barn doors as an edge/kicker. Her room was a mix of tungsten and compact cfl bulbs, so to make things easier on me, I clamped a strobe to the top of the interior of her closet and turned off the closet light. That made it easier for me to balance the intensity and eliminated any worries of color balance.

Here are a few of the first look:

For the second look, we did a close up shot of Brenda putting on makeup, again with the going out theme. I dragged the shutter a bit to take in some of the warm tungsten light in the background. A few times the front strobe misfired and it drastically changed the look.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 high camera left through silver umbrella with 3/4 CTO gel
SB-800 back camera left through barn doors with 3/4 CTO gel
SB-600 back camera right from the ceiling of the closet through stofen diffuser with 1/2 CTO gel

Camera Settings:
1/25 f/5.6 at ISO 400
Nikon 35mm f/1.8

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