I spent late last night into early this morning giving my new studio lights their first real test drive. It took some time to figure out the camera settings I needed for this three-light setup. Then, I photographed myself with & without my glasses. I also tried a black backdrop.

The results? This is the shot of the night. I didn’t edit it…at all. Right out of the camera. I was worried about camera noise (also called grain) because my ISO is at 1600. I started at ISO 100, Aperture at f/4; Shutter Speed at 1/5 second. At a lower ISO, my shutter speed was too slow to capture a crisp image with a good exposure.

So, I increased the shutter speed to 1/80 sec.; and increased the ISO to 1600 hoping that buying a more expensive camera for moments like this would pay off. It did. The Canon 5D Mark II did very well to minimize the noise at this high ISO. Usually, at 1600, color aberrations are extremely noticeable. Needless to say, I’m not going to push it any higher. 🙂 And since their was no ambient light coming into the room, perhaps, in the daytime I can lower the ISO just to be safer.

Overall, wow. I’ve been sitting here shaking my head for an hour. I anticipated the images would come out pretty good, but I didn’t really know what to expect out of the equipment I bought.

Now, I have to get some sleep, then, resume editing (or at least picking out) the best photos. I’ve already narrowed down 150+ shots to about 37. Man, it’s just so…amazing. I was teary-eyed for a bit as I started looking through the photos on my laptop because I began to think of how long I waited to get to this point. Being able to create my own studio work…wow. I just need more samples like this to show potential clients what I can do. And that’s gonna take more practice, more ideas, great execution.

I thank God for these results. It definitely gives me a boost of confidence as I take another step forward.
Eric Christopher Jackson

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