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Using A C-Stand As A Tool & To Add Flare To Portraits | How I Shot It

By Brittany Smith on July 16th 2018

Shooting through elements such as windows, prisms and lace are an easy way to add visual interest to an image or portrait. Another simple way to go about this in the studio is to embrace equipment like a C-Stand or ladder that is readily available within the space. 

Utilizing depth of field by placing the desired object close to the lens of the camera and farther away from the subject can also add flare and depth to an otherwise one dimensional image. 

Model Rachelle Kathleen.

Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens, Broncolor Siros L 800Ws, Broncolor Para 88 Reflector Kit With Focusing Rod.

Tech Specs: ISO 320, f/2, 1/1000th of a second.

GEAR USED:

For this shoot, a single Broncolor Siros L 800WS light was paired with the Para 88 in the mostly defocused position to create a nice balance of soft light and contrast that is flattering to the model. It was placed several feet to the left of and several feet in front of the model and angled down at an approximate 45 degree angle. 

The C-Stand was positioned several feet in front of the model and about a few inches in front of where I would be shooting. It was then moved to the left of the camera’s lens several and slightly in front of the light with the arm at an approximate 45 degree angle to gently reflect the light.  

Model Rachelle Kathleen.

Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens, Broncolor Siros L 800Ws, Broncolor Para 88 Reflector Kit With Focusing Rod.

Tech Specs: ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/1000th of a second.

For this particular setup, the ideal aperture was between f/1.8 and f/2.8 as it yielded a nice balance of the details and bokeh. Shooting above f/2.8 brought the arm of the C-Stand more into focus and tended to took away from the overall shot. 

The 85mm lens was a great focal length as it was able to capture both the added flare of the C-Stand and the model with the primary focus clearly being on the model. The compression found in larger focal lengths such as a 105mm lens could also work well. 

Model Rachelle Kathleen.

Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens, Broncolor Siros L 800Ws, Broncolor Para 88 Reflector Kit With Focusing Rod.

Tech Specs: ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/1000th of a second.

There are numerous other objects that can be found within the studio or picked up for very little out of pocket that could work within a similar setup. A studio ladder, cellophane, and crystal door curtains or beads are a few things that immediately come to mind. Experimenting as such provides a fresh new perspective on portraiture and creates beautiful images. 

[REWIND: Using Artificial Light To Mimic The Sun | How I Shot It]

Model Rachelle Kathleen.

Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens, Broncolor Siros L 800Ws, Broncolor Para 88 Reflector Kit With Focusing Rod.

Tech Specs: ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/1000th of a second.

Brittany is a fashion and beauty photographer who works between NYC, Montana and LA. She photographs the way she has always wanted to feel and believes in the power of raw simplicity. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local coffeeshop, teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, or baking something fabulous in the kitchen.
Instagram: @brittanysmithphoto

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