Industrial Fashion Portrait How To

Industrial Fashion Portrait in Detroit

A dramatic and gritty fashion portrait on a budget.

For this shot I was looking for something extremely dramatic (I know I sound like a broken record in that department by now). I put together a collaboration shoot with a few talented friends of mine.  Take a look at their pages below:

For this particular shoot I used the following: (click for links to Amazon)

We chose a well-traveled abandoned factory in Detroit that had the exact dark and industrial look I was looking for to contrast with the bright colors of the clothing line we were shooting. To add some extra power to the image and to isolate the subject a bit more I shot with a wide open aperture; I zoomed into 120mm to enhance the subject isolation a bit more. It was bright outside but the cover of the factory tunnel let me use a simple entry-level speedlight and a shoot-thru umbrella to light this scene. I placed the umbrella about 5 feet from the model at a 45 degree angle camera-right. The speedlight was a cheap manual one so after some tinkering I ended up at 1/16 power for the exposure I wanted.

Camera Settings: (view this image full res on my Flickr page)

  • Aperture: f2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 1/200
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 120mm

After some basic retouching the main edits I did to get the look I wanted were a radial filter set to underexpose everything to the outside of it and I added some blues to the shadows and yellows to the highlights to get a "cinematic"-ish color grade effect.