Since this was only my second attempt at HDR portraits I had to be prepared with a backup plan. So along side my continuous lights for HDR, I had my strobes set up in the exact position. This way I could switch back and forth from HDR to studio by just rotating the mode dial on my 5D Mark II between the 2 custom presets I have designated for each setting. This worked very well. The two images below did not work out as a true HDR image, but with the help from Topaz Labs Adjust v5.0.0 I was able to achieve the texture and crispness I wanted from the studio images.
Just recently in August I had the opportunity to shoot some portraits for Faculdades INTA’s Vestibular Campaign of Hérico Hesley. He is a world champion of Jiu-Jitsu and a student in the Physical Education program at the school. I chose to shoot several of the images for HDR processing, though not only to enhance the dynamic range, but to capture the texture detail associated with HDR. I felt that this would help bring out the roughness of the sport in these portraits.
My setup was rather simple, I used 2 continuous light sources both positioned about 60˚ to each side of him. The light to camera left is about 15˚ above him, and on the right the light is shooting down at him with no diffuser at approximately a 65˚ angle to give dramatic shadows. My camera was mounted on a tripod and I tripped the shutter with the wireless remote to avoid any camera shake. I instructed Hérico to hold very still as there would be 3 quick shots to make up the final image. He did really good staying still for the images. However the first image (the profile image) was the only successful blend. it was exactly what I was looking for. The image also looked incredible on the front page of The Sobral News the next morning.