Meet the Team — Matt King’s Second Photoshoot

If you haven’t read the first two parts of this series, check out Matt’s introduction article and his first shoot. I made plenty of colorful jokes at my own expense, so I’d hate for you to miss out.

Tri-X 400

There wasn’t much retouching needed. This shot is basically straight out of the camera with the Tri-X 400 Exposure preset applied at 35% overall intensity.

The last article left off with me licking my wounds. Hernan Rodriguez, Westcott Top Pro and Exposure fan, shared helpful advice to improve on the first set of Matt’s shots. I bribed the team to do me another favor and reconvene. We were so close! All that was needed were a few minor tweaks.

The lighting situation called for modifiers. Bradley Matthews, Tether Tools’ Director of Business Development–formerly with Westcott–came to the rescue. This was a Sunday, mind you, so he wasn’t terribly thrilled with the idea. It was the only time we had, so we made do. We chatted about the overall concept for the shoot, discussed Hernan’s feedback, and came up with a plan. Next thing you know, Brad had everything set up and was ready to go.

Where was Jenn? She was the backbone of the whole thing. Yes, she could have done the lighting herself, she has a studio, after all. If she did, I wouldn’t have been embarrassed to tears and asked for others’ help. It may sound insensitive, but harsh experiences can help you remember details, so I couldn’t thank her enough for watching me squirm. I was, however, spitting nails for a day or so. She’s always happy to tell me how much of an idiot I am, too. *sigh* That’s what friends are for, right?

Kodachrome 35mm (Brighter)

I applied a -.3 graduated filter across the knees in Lightroom before editing in Exposure. The warm skin tone came from the Kodachrome 35mm (Brighter) preset @ 20% overall intensity. I upped the exposure of the shot in Exposure 6 as this preset has a tendency to darken the image.

Lighting Setup:

lighting diagram

The first SB700 speedlight with a Westcott 12” x 36” stripbank was positioned high (6’) and angled down from behind the model, next to the backdrop. This lit the left side just enough to build depth. It was set to about 1/4 power. I can’t give you the exact settings used because we adjusted based on the changing ambient light–it was a cloudy day.

A second SB700 with a 12” x 36” stripbank came from the front left corner of the backdrop. It was similarly positioned high (6’) and angled down, approximately 8’ from the model. This was the main light. It was set 2 stops lower than the first light. We grip taped the bottom corners of the softbox to keep from overlighting the knees.

From the right, an Einstein E640 with a 36” x 48” softbox came straight across centered at about 4’. This filled him in on the right of the face and his shoulder. There wasn’t much light needed, so it was set as a modeling light at 1/64th power.

Polaroid 669 +Creamy Highlights

Exposure’s Polaroid 669 +Creamy Highlights preset really makes the jacket shine. The yellowing effect it has makes the gold embroidery pop. I dialed back the overall intensity until the image closely resembled the other color shot—around 65%.


We shot with a similar gear roster to the first shoot, with one caveat: a longer lens. We depended on Jenn’s trusty Nikon 70-200 vr1 2.8. This was used to compress the shot and to give us more depth of field to work with. The goal was to keep his feet in focus as well as his head per Hernan’s recommendation. Jenn shoots weddings and events a lot, so this is her most used glass. I promised to be careful.

On a positive note, I didn’t pull the bright orange Tether Tools tether cable out of the camera this time! W00t! Hashtag jerkstopper.

The Shoot:

The shoot went pretty quickly. We learned which poses, hand placement, and expressions we liked from the first shoot. This time, it was like we had a well thought out plan. I stumbled over this important discovery during the project, but it’s a good one, so I’ll remember it for next time. Before shooting, make a detailed plan.

Thanks for all your help, Brad, Matt, & Jenn. I owe you a couple of cold ones. Maybe we should schedule it for another weekend…

Kodak Technical Pan

Exposure’s Kodak Technical Pan preset was used on this image. Adjustments were made to the red color sensitivity in order for this shot to read similar to the other B&W image above.

About the Author:

Jimmy is the marketing nerd at Alien Skin. He makes workflow training tutorials, handles affiliates, writes for the blog, manages our contributing authors, governs our social media, and he is the king of swag orders. He also makes a mean cup of espresso, so if you stop by the office, remember to give him cash tips for his efforts.

One Comment

  1. […] One of the perks of my job is that I get to associate with awesome photographers. The best part is that they don’t think anything of it. Half of the time I’m giddy inside when they come around–but don’t tell them. A little bit ago, I enjoyed the guilty pleasure of brunch with my pal Jenn Aan from Halftone Studios. Remember her from the portraits with Matt King? […]

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