The Daily Photo #5- Jesse Michael Barr

The Daily Photo #5- January 5th, 2016.

Jesse Michael Barr

ISO 800, 1/180 sec. @f/8
ISO 800, 1/180 sec. @f/8

Today, I happened to run into my friend, Jesse Michael Barr. He was nice enough to stop what he was doing to sit and let me shoot a couple of portraits. This guy is a musician, a multi-instrumentalist, and a hell of a model American. You should definitely check him out at his Bandcamp here or here on social media here.

I started out wanting to use a grey background today. I  wanted a gradient grey that was a couple of steps up from a black, in terms of tone. Actually, that is a grey background, Just about middle grey, to be exact. It turns out that my background paper was showing a little more texture than I wanted it to, so I decided to turn it white.

Turnign a non-white background white means a lot more power output on the background light. Since I was using two Profoto B1’s today, I had a lot of power to work with. You will notice that the ISO is at 800. I had no problem pushing the ISO up to 800 with the FUjifilm XT-1. It has no noticeable noise or quality loss in this type of a photo. Also, at 800 ISO, I did not have to shoot the background light at full power, saving some battery and recycle time.

The key, or main light, on Jesse was a Profoto B1 in a LumoPro 36″ octabox. The octobox is like a big stop sign and puts off really nice soft light. The Octa was slightly camera left and about two and a half feet from the subjects face, but at a flat angle to his face (see the diagram below).

I had to make sure that Jesse was far enough away from the background, so the light that was blasting on the background didn’t blow out and fringe the edges of his form.  I set him up about 8 or ten feet from the grey Savage Paper.  Since i was only using 2 lights, one on the background and one on the subject, I didn’t have another light for a fill. The white walls of The Learning Studio gave some nice reflection and fill in his face and in the details of his jacket. I was bale to use the light more efficiently because of what I call a “white-wall fill”. The light continues to bounce around the room and contribute to the overall exposure. Sometimes you do not want fill, but in this case it was welcome.

The Fuji 56mm f/1.2 APD is awesome, by the way. So sharp and contrasty, and just a bit of radness. Really good.TDP diagram #5

The craziest thing to consider here is how good the Fujifilm jpeg’s are. I hastily set the camera up in very little time (a rental), and I neglected to set the camera to RAW mode. The Fuji jpegs are super high quality and stand up to a little processing very well. This reminds me of a lesson I have been attempting to learn for a while now… Always double check your settings before the subject sits down. At least this time I could get away with it.

Big thanks to Jesse Michael Barr for being so generous with his time! Don’t forget to look out for him playing out in Columbus!

Gear used:

See you tomorrow!

TJ Hansen

Photographer at

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