That means welcome in Sinhala, in honour of my friend Suwani who is my (Sri Lankan) March Portrait of the Month.
I spoke to Suwani about taking her portrait in early January and it took place on 15 February. At my request we shot indoors in her flat, partly for a change of scene as the January and February portraits were shot outdoors, but more significantly because I got caught in torrential rain both times!
I had some ideas about composition and decided that the final image would be converted to black and white - I always shoot in colour even if I know the final image will be black and white. Suwani also preferred a black and white image, which was handy. This meant that tones and contrast would be important aspects when composing the shot.
My main light was a speedlight in a white bounce umbrella at 1/8 power on a stand, approximately 6 feet in front of her to my left and feathered towards me. For each Portrait of the Month, I'm creating a lighting diagram using the Strobox iPhone app, so I can track which setups work best. I used my favourite, 85mm lens again. My camera settings were 1/160, f/2.8, 200 ISO. The room we were in had white walls so lots of light bouncing around, and there was a window to camera right which I used as my secondary light source.
We experimented with different poses and facial expressions while drinking tea and listening to Sting on Spotify. Thank you Suwani (and Sting) for your participation - it really was a team effort!
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