Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Simple Technique, Stunning Results: Messing Around in the Studio [feedly]

Simple Technique, Stunning Results: Messing Around in the Studio
// 500px ISO

"The entire shoot took around 2 hours," photographer Justin Lim told me when I emailed him about the photo above. "But this was actually just at the end—the last 10 mins or so—when we were messing around afterwards!"

The portrait above, titled "I bet that you look good on the dancefloor", is one of my favorite simple shots on 500px. It was obvious to me that it was a quick and fun shot to capture, but something about it makes it stick.

So I asked Justin for the details, and between the exif data and Justin's revelations, we can break down this shot:

i bet that you look good on the dancefloor by Justin Lim on

On the technical side: the image was captured using a Nikon D610 and 50mm f/1.4G lens. The settings were 1/320s shutter, f/1.8, and ISO 1600. Continuous light was provided by a Manfrotto Spectra900F LED panel, which was set up behind the model (Justin's friend Gabi). Beyond that there was no ambient light or other source… the studio was completely dark.

"We didn't rig any background," explained Justin. "[The shot] was just achieved by Gabi sitting on the floor of my studio, The Kandid, and throwing her hair back and forth."

"I guess you could say it's just one of those moments where you get a bit lucky," he continued. "Some of the shots looked like the hair was a bit limp, but in this one it comes alive!"

As for post-processing, that was pretty straight forward as well. Since Gabi has, in Justin's words, "flawless skin," no touchups were needed there. It was all basic adjustments in Lightroom:

[I added] some sharpness and made some levels adjustments […] The original shot was underexposed then lifted in Lightroom. I wouldn't say this was a particularly complex edit, maybe 10 mins in post at most! A little bit of grain was also introduced, I seem to recall.

That's it. A simple shot captured by simply "messing around" in the studio. Never forget to have fun with your shoots… some of your favorite work might come out of it:

i bet that you look good on the dancefloor by Justin Lim on

To see a lot more from Justin, follow him on 500px, visit his website, or show him some love on Facebook and Instagram. And be sure to keep an eye out for his selections in the Editors' Choice section, he's a 500px Guest Editor this month!


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Robert Gallagher
Photography by Gallagher