Finding inspiration from a painting

I made a trip to the National Portrait Gallery one weekend to check out the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition as well as to select a painting for my mini assignment at Uni. There were a couple of contemporary portraits which I was quite engaged with so I decided to check out more details about each painting/photograph before I chose one.

This painting below (extreme left) is a portrait of Pete Postlethwaite by Christopher Thompson. If you study the light, the sitter is top lit using a single light source.

For my studio shot, I used a long and slimmer softbox which is positioned above and slightly in front of the sitter’s head. Jo’s friend was kind enough to sit for this portrait shot. After I did several shots of him, Jo and Franziska also wanted to sit for that shot so I managed to capture them in the same position.

4-by-WLW_web

It is interesting to see the subtle differences in all three portraits which I shot. What we learnt is that a single light source can create beautiful portraits. If I were to do this again, I would position the sitter further away from the background to make the background darker.

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