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Shot With Lume Series: The Perfect Prism Portrait with Hayden Dumaw

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When scrolling down Hayden Dumaw's (@haydendumaww) Instagram feed, it is full of eye-catching content. His photos are bright, creative, and incredibly unique. Each one has a story behind it. We were excited to get the story behind this portrait he took using a Lume Cube and a glass prism where he emphasizes that there was no photoshop necessary.

Where was this image taken?

I took this image in a shopping center in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

How did you come up with the idea to use the glass prism? Were you inspired by another photographer or did you come up with the concept?

I did not come up with the concept of casting a rainbow over my subject's eyes; I was inspired by @19tones. I think that he also used a prism to create the rainbow, but I'm not sure what light source he used or how he set it up.

This appears to be a very technical shot. Explain the process of bouncing the Lume Cube off of the prism to cast colorful light on your subject. Why did you use the Barn Doors on this shot?

It was pretty difficult to set up. I had to mount my camera on a monopod and take the picture with my right hand, while my left hand was holding and adjusting the prism. I also mounted my Lume Cube to my tripod, so I could lock the position of the light source. I kind of just moved the prism around and experimented with different angles until I finally got it to cast a rainbow; it was a very time-consuming shot to set up. I wanted the portrait to be similar to a silhouette, and I knew I only wanted my subject to be illuminated in the rainbow area. Because of this, I used the Barn Doors attachment to shape the Lume Cube's light into a long, skinny sliver of light that matched the shape of my prism. Essentially, I made it so all of the light coming from the Lume Cube was going into the prism; the lack of excess light allowed me to keep my subject in the dark while still casting a very bright (brightness 100%) rainbow.

After taking a glimpse of your Instagram profile, you take very colorful , creative, and unique photos. How do you generate new ideas.

Most of my new ideas happen spontaneously. I like to go on walks and analyze everything I see; it sounds a bit odd, but I'm constantly scanning my surroundings and observing minor details and patterns. Sometimes I'll see something seemingly insignificant that triggers a cool photo idea in my head. Then, I just write the idea down in my phone so I don't forget it. Before I go on any shoot, I always go through the list of ideas on my phone for inspiration, and I also occasionally check the list during shoots. 

Name a photographer that inspires you the most. Why?

The photographer that inspires me the most is the one who inspired this photo, @19tones AKA Ernest Em. I really like his extremely unique style, and I think his work does a great job pushing the boundaries of what's possible with photography. I especially love his more experimental work, such as his "prismagraphy" series. He has served as a huge inspiration for me throughout my photography journey, and I can't wait to see what else he does in the future.

What camera did you use here? And please tell us more about the 'Bokeh Master' lens.

I took this photo on my Sony A7RIV, and I used the Sigma 105mm "Bokeh Master" lens. It's my go-to body and lens combo for portraits. I love bokeh, so it's no surprise that the "Bokeh Master" is my favorite lens that I own. It's huge and heavy, but the images it produces are simply unmatched. It's definitely not for everyone; it really depends on what you prioritize. Some prioritize versatility and comfort , but I personally care most about the image quality. For my personal style and habits, the extremely heavy and inconvenient "bokeh master" lens is the best; I am willing to sacrifice my forearms for the quality that it produces.

What has been the most rewarding part of your photography experiences? What has been the most challenging?

By far, the most rewarding parts of my experience have been seeing that I've had an impact on people. It sounds super cliche, but it's true. I love seeing people tag me in photos that I've inspired or getting comments and DM's from someone saying that they think my pictures are cool. Above anything else, I'm doing photography because it makes me happy; suffice to say it's incredibly humbling and rewarding to have people express their appreciation for my passion. I also love working alongside companies that make products that I genuinely use and enjoy (like Lume Cube). I didn't think photography would go anywhere for me when I started; it's still a really surreal experience for me, and it helps me feel proud of my photography journey thus far. 

The most challenging part of photography has been the past five months. I've been in and out of quarantine, lockdown, and self-isolation. As a portrait photographer, it has been somewhat hard for me to feel satisfied with my work; due to the current limitations I often feel like I'm not able to produce my best content. Regardless, I know that the struggle will only make me a better photographer in the long run, and it's important that I continue to adapt and overcome the challenges.

Would you be able to talk about your post-process when it comes to editing? Do you edit your photos? Do you have a favorite way of editing them?

I edit all of my photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic and I normally spend multiple hours editing a single photo. I try to put as much attention into details as possible and while most people who see my work won't even notice them, it's these little things that really make me happy with the editing process. I love when I'm able to completely transform a photo by just messing around in Lightroom. Seeing the before/after of my photos always makes the time spent editing worthwhile.

Did this photo turn out the way you initially envisioned it?

None of my photos ever do, but through editing I was able to turn it into something I liked even more. I've also found that having a specific look in mind can sometimes get frustrating; recently I've tried to keep a relatively open mind when shooting and editing. Often I'll dislike a photo when I initially take it, but then love it after messing around with it in editing. I have a bad habit of being overly critical on my own work, but as time passes photos often grow on me, as this one did.

Describe Lume Cube in 5 words or less.

Compact, versatile bright lighting solutions.


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Check out some of our other Shot with Lume Series blogs where we interview a variety of talented creators on how they got the shot.