When I came across these two young ladies and their very beautiful, striking eyes I knew that I wanted to do a portrait of the pair of them. I wanted that portrait to be focused, with a laser like intensity on their eyes. I also wanted both of their eyes to be in the same image and I wanted the viewers experience of the image to be dominated by their eyes. Taking a portrait this close up means that the lighting has to be done carefully or the reflection coming back at you will be distracting. I could have done it with natural light, I had a window right nearby but I wanted a dramatic intensity to the light that would punch up the image. I had discovered a very cheap way to convert an off camera flash into a pretty decent ring light by a company called DIY Lighting Kits. It’s kind of a folding plastic contraption that captures the light from your flash and reflects it outward in a ring. I put the camera’s lens through the middle of the ring flash, dialled in the exposure manually to darken the background and shot away. I wanted a dramatic intense look so I upped contrast and saturation in the eyes. You have to be careful when doing this as you can really ruin the skin tone if you take it too far. Viveza by Nik allows you to focus your adjustments on small areas, (like the blue of their eyes), and not ruin the rest of your image. I also added a vignette to further darken the edges of the photograph.
For a different lighting setup of another closeup portrait check out this image.
The only issue that I have is that I did not adjust the model on the bottom so that she was straight on to me. Her head is very slightly tilted to her left and I wish that I had noticed this when I did the portraits.