5 minute portrait - Coworker Emily

I've really wanted to experiment with different lighting techniques and to start incorporating flashes off camera for some shots. I just haven't gotten around to purchasing any flashes or triggers yet (though it is on my wish list). As such, I have to be a little more creative when coming up with ideas for lighting some pictures.

In this case, I had to take some new photos for the employee poster we have at work. I could have just snapped a shot of them right at their desks, and I'm sure it would have been fine. After thinking about it for a minute, though, I decided to try something a little better. All I had was my trusty Olympus E-P1, a 17mm lens, and whatever I could find in my office. I like a challenge!

I felt the on-camera flash would be a little too harsh here, and I didn't have any way to angle the flash head to bounce the light off anything (but still wanted nice fill on the subjects face). So I thought a nice portrait for this scenario could benefit from the same lighting a ring light might give. I just don't have a ring light in my office lying around. I do, however, have a couple of desk lamps that might fit the bill. Et Voila!

I stole two fluorescent desk lamps from my co-workers, and set them up on a table pointing directly at Emily's face from the sides:

There was also a ceiling fluorescent fixture in my office providing some fill light from above. Because the desk lamps were low power, I had to really get them close to the subject (along with the camera). If you look, you can actually see the two desk lights being reflected in her eyes.

I thought it came out pretty good for scavenging lighting supplies from around the office. After the first one, I decided that I might as well go ahead and re-shoot everyones picture in the office for the poster:

And a great big "Thank you!" to my coworkers for allowing me to use their images here! (btw, that's me in the top left)

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