Learn from the masters

Step­ping back in time, Ja­son Parnell-Brookes helps you to shoot a por­trait with ‘Old Mas­ter’ ap­peal

NPhoto - - Contents -

Use a win­dow to light a por­trait and get the look seen in fa­mous por­trait paint­ings

Have you ever tried to make a pho­to­graph look like a paint­ing? Per­haps you’ve taken an old photo into Pho­to­shop and added some fil­ters and tex­tures to give the im­pres­sion of brush strokes and art pa­per. How­ever, you don’t re­ally need any com­puter wiz­ardry. By bor­row­ing a few sim­ple tech­niques from the clas­sic artists we’re go­ing to cre­ate a sim­ple set-up that con­sists of noth­ing more than a win­dow, a model, a back­drop and some fab­ric. The end re­sult is a por­trait that repli­cates the look and feel of a 17th-cen­tury Dutch paint­ing.

Win­dows give won­der­ful dif­fuse light that wraps around your sub­ject. The trick is to stand your model by the win­dow, dress them in some fab­ric and po­si­tion them to get the shot you want. So let’s un­ravel the mys­ter­ies of get­ting a clas­sic painterly por­trait…

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