Christine Alicino

This portrait was done for Rolf Engle's 60th birthday so I was looking for an image of him that was stately, sensitive, and conveyed his dignity and creativity.

What I love about working with lights in the studio is that I can control the technical aspects of the process so that I can concentrate on the mood and presence of the subject.

This was especially important in this case because I was using Polaroid Type 55 film, which meant that the exposure and contrast needed to be perfect since there was no opportunity to change things after the fact.

I previsualized this portrait as having soft but dramatic contrast. The background needed to be dark but light enough to allow for separation with his hair (Zones III and IV). His skin needed to be luminous but detailed (Zones VI and VII).

Since the light source was a continuous, daylight balanced light with a fresnel lens in a soft box, I used the distance between the subject and the background to control the shadow values and between the subject and the light source to control the highlights. I used an incident light meter to determine the exposure.

Christine Alicino is a freelance professional and fine art photographer who shoots people, products, editorial, and environmental photography in the San Francisco Bay Area (www.christinealicino. com).

LIGHT SOURCE: 1000 watt HMI in a soft box FILM: Polaroid Type 55 ASA: 50


Rolf Engle, 2002.
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