IKEA Table "LACK" Helps you Posing

IKEA Table "LACK" Helps you Posing

This tip came via our Facebook group, "Tips for Photographers and Models".

In a recent tip, I encouraged you to use a shoji screen to create an impressive studio background when working in a small space. If you are using a shoji screen for your photos, you recognize that it provides the feeling of a clean, posh room.

But what happens if you want to pose your model in a sitting position, but don’t want to place her on the floor? You also don’t want to destroy the “furniture” feeling provided by a shoji screen by using something like a white posing block, as it makes your photo shoot appear artificial

 Featuring our model Rommi

Featuring our model Rommi

Instead, what you can do is add a small table to your photo shoot. I used a little bedside table that I purchased from Ikea (specifically, a table from the LACK series). The table is inexpensive, easy to handle, and is very light. It is sturdy enough where a model can safely pose on top of the table. It is small but just big enough that a tall woman can pose on top of it.

I photographed our model Rommi, who is 1.75 meters or about 6 ft tall, and she had no problem posing on top of the table. Besides the table, I leveraged a standard GL Method setup. I used a speedlight at 1/16 power and had the light travel through my shoot-through umbrella. My camera settings, like always, were 1/200s, f/2.8, and ISO 100.

In that shoot, I slightly lowered my umbrella so that it still shined downward at an angle or approx. 45 degree toward the model. I also lowered my camera standpoint so that I was on the same level as my model (who, obviously, was sitting down). That said, by tilting and turning your camera, you may shoot converging verticals which don’t look straight. Ultimately, this may appear distracting in the final photo. The problem is particularly evident when you are shooting with a wide angle lens because it gives you a lot of perspectives.

You can solve this problem in Adobe Lightroom. Specifically, you can select your photo in the “Develop” module and use a function called “Upright.” This function features a very capable automatic mode. Usually, by clicking “Auto”, Lightroom will do a pretty good job making all of the lines perfectly straight. If you still aren’t satisfied, you can make the changes manually. I have never needed to do that.

By using the Upright function, you can take a photo with a skewed perspective from a tilted camera and make everything perfectly straight. At the same time, if you shoot a wide angle, your shoji screen will look very large, which may be an effect that you want. If you screw up your picture in the wide angle like sometimes do, however, you can fix it by using the Upright function. It’s that easy.

I wish you good light!
-- Michael

Issue 53: Lighting Lesson

Issue 53: Lighting Lesson

Issue 52: Aztec Tribe

Issue 52: Aztec Tribe