ARINZE KENE - START TO FINISH

A few months ago I shot portraits of British actor Arinze Kene at Claridges Hotel in Mayfair. We were allowed roughly two hours to shoot various set ups in a hotel suite that I will probably never afford to stay in! I love shooting portraits on location and after weeks of shooting studio work I was so happy to do a shoot in a location such as this. 

Here's the shot I'm going to be talking about..

CHOOSING THE SETTING This was the last set up of about 5 that we shot that day. We made use of the lounge area of the hotel suite along with the hall way and the bathroom. I wanted to make use of the glowing bedside lamps in the bedroom and shoot something quite cinematic with Arinze. I could have spent all day/night working on this location. There were so any options to shoot something great and only a small window of time to settle on something. As is the way with almost all shoots!   EXPOSURE & LIGHTING For this portrait I needed the most subtle and gentle pop from a strobe. I didn't want to ruin the ambient light by flooding it with light from the flash. I used a Profoto D1 into a 36" Photek Softlighter umbrella with an extra layer of diffusion material to dull it down even further. I positioned the strobe and brolli to camera left so that it was coming from roughly the same angle as the bedside lamp. Here's a shot straight out of camera...   Camera: Canon 5d Mk3 ISO: 400 Shutterspeed: 1/125 Aperture: 2.8  

CHOOSING THE SETTING

This was the last set up of about 5 that we shot that day. We made use of the lounge area of the hotel suite along with the hall way and the bathroom. I wanted to make use of the glowing bedside lamps in the bedroom and shoot something quite cinematic with Arinze. I could have spent all day/night working on this location. There were so any options to shoot something great and only a small window of time to settle on something. As is the way with almost all shoots!

 

EXPOSURE & LIGHTING

For this portrait I needed the most subtle and gentle pop from a strobe. I didn't want to ruin the ambient light by flooding it with light from the flash. I used a Profoto D1 into a 36" Photek Softlighter umbrella with an extra layer of diffusion material to dull it down even further. I positioned the strobe and brolli to camera left so that it was coming from roughly the same angle as the bedside lamp. Here's a shot straight out of camera...

 

Camera: Canon 5d Mk3

ISO: 400

Shutterspeed: 1/125

Aperture: 2.8

 

POST PRODUCTION Nothing that technical here. I brightened up Arinze's face by raising the exposure of the whole image in curves, inverting the layer mask and then painting the effect only into Arinze. I then wanted to darken the room and create a subtle and natural vignette drawing the viewers eye towards Arinze and making him stand out in the frame. I call this my 'smart vignetting' technique which involves bringing down the entire exposure in curves. I then drew a big loose selection around my subject (i.e Arinze) and inverted the layer mask to bring my selection back to the original exposure. I then blurred the hell out of the selection using gaussian blur. The colour toning involved using the blue channel and the red channel on a curves adjustment layer to put a blue/cyan tone into the shadow areas. Then, on another cures adjustment layer, I warmed up the highlights on Arinze's face by adding more yellow via the Blue channel. Finally, I sharpened up Arinze's face slightly using a high pass filter. Here's the final result as seen in Attitude magazine back in December.  Thanks for reading!

POST PRODUCTION

Nothing that technical here. I brightened up Arinze's face by raising the exposure of the whole image in curves, inverting the layer mask and then painting the effect only into Arinze. I then wanted to darken the room and create a subtle and natural vignette drawing the viewers eye towards Arinze and making him stand out in the frame. I call this my 'smart vignetting' technique which involves bringing down the entire exposure in curves. I then drew a big loose selection around my subject (i.e Arinze) and inverted the layer mask to bring my selection back to the original exposure. I then blurred the hell out of the selection using gaussian blur.

The colour toning involved using the blue channel and the red channel on a curves adjustment layer to put a blue/cyan tone into the shadow areas. Then, on another cures adjustment layer, I warmed up the highlights on Arinze's face by adding more yellow via the Blue channel.

Finally, I sharpened up Arinze's face slightly using a high pass filter.

Here's the final result as seen in Attitude magazine back in December. 

Thanks for reading!