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Model Portrait on a cloudy day


I mostly work for companies but sometimes there is someone who thinks it might be worth it to hire me just to get good portraits, and pay with their hard earned (and taxed) cash. Not that I am that expensive, but people paying out of their own pocket tend to go for the cheapest alternative (i.e. not me).

The guy in the portrait above wanted to try his luck and send some pictures to a model agency. What he needed was a couple of portraits, without make-up or styling, and we did a couple in the studio and moved outside for a few more under a really grey and cloudy sky.

People say all the time that cloudy days are the best for outdoor portraits, I think it might be because of the soft light. But without a reflector, very often the eye sockets gets very dark and people look a bit gloomy.


Luckily, we had a reflector and together with a very short depth of field, I think the portraits turned out really good. For this I used my Nikon D700, a 85mm/1.4 with an aperture of f/2.

I seldom use apertures larger than f/2.8. Deleting frame after frame just because the focus is slightly off is boring and depressing, I think.

Anyway, when it gets right, there is almost no need for skin retouch, the photos above just got a slight correction with curves and white balance.

Sometimes, portraits can be this simple, and from what I heard he had good luck with one of the agencies he met with. Who knows, he might be the next star? Hopefully he will remember me and let me ride in his Ferrari.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Ali April 5, 2012, 09:06

    Very nice natural looking portrait. What Picture Control did you use for this? Portrait or Standard?


  • Stefan Tell April 16, 2012, 23:07

    I developed it in Adobe Lightroom, and for portraits I usually use the Camera Profile named Portrait. I think Picture Control is more for JPEG or if you use Nikon’s own programs, such as Capture NX.

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