Corporate Portrait – Mixing Ambient Light With Strobes

For this set up of Jan’s shoot, we wanted a much stronger portrait with the brief “think boardroom”.

In this shot, I am still shooting wide open at f2.8, however, I am not using an ND filter as in the earlier post about Jan’s shoot Corporate Portrait Using ND Filter to Control Ambient Light

Here, I simply wanted to mix the abundant ambient light and creative design element of this amazing office space to funk up to a boardroom table portrait.

Mix of natural cooler day light and warmer office lights can add more drama to a portrait

For my key light, I placed a 1/2 CTO on a Profoto 600r, 1×3 stripbox and a 30 degree grid with a black cloth to control spill on the table. As the overhead lamps gave off a strong orange glow, I needed to warm the left side of Jan’s face to even out the over head lights. For the chairs in the foreground, I used a Canon 580 EX II with grid + 1/2 cto gel to add a kick. 

Using a black cloth and grids on ythe 2 lights help control spill
Using a black cloth and grids on the 2 lights help control spill

I liked the way the silver wire mesh curtain on his right softened the natural sunlight and added contrast to an otherwise dark interior. I wanted to use the length of the beautiful boardroom table and it’s reflective quality as creative elements to scene. The narrow depth of field at f2.8 really support the long table length and the background blur diffuses the light/dark contrast directly behind him. Jan’s reflection almost doubles his power presence and the strips of white ambient light behind him really cut through the image nicely. The warm orange glow of the overhead lamps really soften the dark table foreground so that the eye leads gently into Jan.

Jan creates a strong centre focus in what could otherwise be a noisy image
Jan creates a strong centre focus in what could otherwise be a noisy image

The final image was shot at 1/30th, f2.8, iso 200.

Gear used: Hasselbald H4d 40 + 80mm f2.8 HC lens, Profoto ComPact 600r head + 1/2 cto gel, Profoto 1×3 stripbox with 30 degree grid, Canon 580 EX II + 1/2 cto gel and grid and pocket wizard Flex TT.

To view more of my images, please visit my website esam hassanyeh

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