Glitter Portrait: How I Took It - Digital Photography School
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Glitter Portrait: How I Took It

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Recently while surfing through some shots on Flickr I came across the shot above – taken by CT Pham (aka Phamster on Flickr).

The shot was eye catching and an interesting portrait and under it was a description of how it was taken with a link to see some behind the scenes shot. I messaged CT Pham to see if he’d be willing for us to share it on dPS and he agreed. Here’s the behind the scenes info. I’d love to see some shots inspired by this in comments below!

This shot was done in a parking garage with 3 speed lights and a single alien bee strobe AB1600.

I had the glitter cross lit by 2 speedlights gelled with blue and green (the green wasn’t showing up too well).

It is a project I have been thinking of doing for a while and hadn’t had a chance – but last night presented it self.

Setup:

  • 1 speed light in the rear and a shoot thru for the wall and partial side lighting
  • 2 speed lights for the cross lighting
  • 1 AB 1600 for the key light 64PLM was used
  • all speed lights were full power
  • the AB1600 was just below 1/4 power being it was really close to Katie
  • lots of glitter was used – LOL. Really fun shot!

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 85 mm
ISO Speed: 500
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off, Did not fire

Here are the behind the scenes shots of the setup!

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Check out more of Phamster’s work on Flickr or on his site.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • John K

    wow, excellent portrait

  • Abigail

    That is really cool!!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/69714842@N06/ Barry E. Warren

    Now that’s what it takes to get a real Photo.

  • raghavendra

    Good to know how photographs are taken

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com

  • http://www.portraitinspiration.com Jai Catalano

    This is a HOT one. Great great work. It should be a snow photo.

  • http://www.phogropathy.com John Davenport

    Nicely done – very creative and thanks for sharing your set up. As someone who just had his first studio experience it’s a whole new world of photography when you add lighting!

  • Mike

    Who makes those mobile softboxes?

  • Ferdinand Venter

    @Mike: There is speed lights in them which are most likely triggered by either a remote or the flashes. You can either hold them or mount them on a tripod. It doesn’t matter where or how they are mounted as long as the flash activates.

  • http://Notjustageek.co.uk John Puddy

    Brilliant shot and very much appreciate seeing the setup! Thanks

  • http://www.caseygrimleyphotography.com Casey Grimley

    Very cool. I am going to try this today for my wife’s makeup class assignment.

  • http://500px.com/SusanBlickPhotography Susan

    awesome work, loved this tut.

  • RaienDrops

    Really amazing set-up and easy to do. Thank you for sharing

  • Kenco

    The original idea from this comes from Aaron Nace from Phlearn.com .
    I’ve seen the exact same image ther,plus the tutorial a few years ago .

  • David Kellin

    I have done this with several kids this last year, including mine. Some tips, use big flake glitter, and very dry hands. I took my shots outside at a park. Make sure to catch the hands afterwards.

  • Kathleen Mekailek

    Being a beginner and not having all the flashes and reflectors, I wonder how this could be done…..

  • lisa

    what do you mean, big facke glitter? have a link?

  • David Kellin

    Just buy the largest size glitter pieces you can find. Fine glitter is hard to see. I am referring just to size of glitter pieces.

  • LJ

    How do you trigger speed lights and a single alien bee strobe together?

  • rhaphazard

    You could use the sun as your key light and any flash or lamp you happen to have to cross light.

  • Kathleen Mekailek

    I will try this with my daughter and see what happens- thanks!

  • Kathleen Mekailek

    I used colored glitter instead of glitter. My dogs would have tried to eat the glitter and with sugar, a little water washes it away. A bonus was getting a few shots of my teenage daughter licking her fingers and sticking out her green tongue like a little kid- something that would not have happened with glitter!

  • Mike

    I did this with my kids this year

  • mandy demuth

    Winter wonderland. I used an octabox as a main and a small softbox for fill. White confetti instead of glitter to create the snow effect

  • rhaphazard

    You can set them to their optical slave mode.

  • Guest

    Inspired by your post, my friend and I figured we’d practice with with paper dots, before graduating to glitter. For the styling, to convey a “wintery” mood, we had authentic European fur hats – all we needed to do was add a scarf. We tried with different amounts of paper dots, and none seemed quire right. It was very hard to time pressing the shutter at the right time. We were in a studio.
    The camera settings were F8, 1/200, ISO 100. Lens: Nikon 105 2.8. Camera on a tripod. (The black line on the right side is do to some screw-up in my Nikon D600, which didn’t synch properly at 1/200, even though it was set correctly.)
    The lighting was provided by two off camera flashes, 2 Nikon SB-700, probably at 1/4 power. One was in a 28″ Apollo Octabank, camera right, as a main; the other in a 12″ Lumiquest, camera left, mostly to light the dots.

  • Guest

    Inspired by your post, my friend and I figured we’d practice with with paper dots, before graduating to glitter.
    For the styling, to convey a “wintery” mood, we had authentic European fur hats – all we needed to do was add a scarf.
    The logistics were not easy – we tried with different amounts of paper dots, and none seemed quire right. It was very hard to time pressing the shutter at the right time.
    We were in a studio. The camera settings were F8, 1/200, ISO 100. Lens: Nikon 105 2.8. Camera on a tripod. (The black line on the right side is due to some screw-up in my Nikon D600, which didn’t synch properly at 1/200, even though it was set correctly.)
    The lighting was provided by two off camera flashes, 2 Nikon SB-700, probably at 1/4 power (I don’t remember exactly). One was in a 28″ Apollo Octabank, camera right, as a main; the other in a 12″ Lumiquest, camera left, mostly to light the dots.

  • Lilia Pino Blouin

    Inspired by your post, my friend and I figured we’d practice with with paper dots, before graduating to glitter.
    For the styling, to convey a “wintery” mood, we had authentic European fur hats – all we needed to do was add a scarf.
    The logistics were not easy – we tried with different amounts of paper dots, and none seemed quire right. It was very hard to time pressing the shutter at the right time.
    We were in a studio. The camera settings were F8, 1/200, ISO 100. Lens: Nikon 105 2.8. Camera on a tripod. (The black line on the right side is due to some screw-up in my Nikon D600, which didn’t synch properly at 1/200, even though it was set correctly.)
    The lighting was provided by two off camera flashes, triggered by TT5 pocket wizards – it was 2 Nikon SB-700, set on Manual, probably at 1/4 power (I don’t remember exactly). One was in a 28″ Apollo Octabank, camera right, as a main; the other in a 12″ Lumiquest, camera left, mostly to light the dots.

Some older comments

  • Casey Grimley

    February 3, 2013 03:50 am

    Very cool. I am going to try this today for my wife's makeup class assignment.

  • John Puddy

    February 2, 2013 07:26 am

    Brilliant shot and very much appreciate seeing the setup! Thanks

  • Ferdinand Venter

    February 1, 2013 10:32 pm

    @Mike: There is speed lights in them which are most likely triggered by either a remote or the flashes. You can either hold them or mount them on a tripod. It doesn't matter where or how they are mounted as long as the flash activates.

  • Mike

    February 1, 2013 02:28 am

    Who makes those mobile softboxes?

  • John Davenport

    January 30, 2013 07:30 am

    Nicely done - very creative and thanks for sharing your set up. As someone who just had his first studio experience it's a whole new world of photography when you add lighting!

  • Jai Catalano

    January 30, 2013 07:20 am

    This is a HOT one. Great great work. It should be a snow photo.

  • raghavendra

    January 28, 2013 03:43 am

    Good to know how photographs are taken

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com

  • Barry E. Warren

    January 28, 2013 03:23 am

    Now that's what it takes to get a real Photo.

  • Abigail

    January 27, 2013 02:59 pm

    That is really cool!!!

  • John K

    January 27, 2013 04:53 am

    wow, excellent portrait

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