Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kathy's Portrait Shoot

Kathy wanted a different look to the typical studio portraits that she has done in the past, so what better way to change it up than to go outdoors!  I love location shoots because it's different every time, and there are so many different things you can do compared to a studio backdrop portrait.  We worked the different elements of the location, and I think got some pretty sweet photos.  We did this shoot at dusk right when the sun was going down, so we got that nice sweet glow from the sun.  Photography is all about lighting (photo means “light”), and great photos are made from great lighting.  Just think about it – our vision is based on the refraction of light, so that must mean that the better the lighting, the better the image!  You’ll notice some off-camera strobes used for these portraits.  In the first photo, you can see a battery powered strobe behind Kathy, which was triggered by a wireless radio slave.  Strobes (aka flash units) are used to supplement the available light (the sunlight).  When you start to lose the sunlight, then you can always rely on strobes (the most available light), because you can control the output at will.  So the basic rule of thumb here is that you expose for your background and use the artificial light to light the subject.  You’ll see a good example of this in photos 4 and 5.  The setup shot at the fountain is the photo without the strobe light.  Notice how Kathy is too dark, but the background looks nice and dramatic.  This is the look I was going for.  Now turn on the light source and expose that light for the model.  Now you’ve got a nice background, and a perfectly lit model!  I had an assistant aiming the light from the right.  It is synchronized wirelessly via pocketwizard.  So there you have a quick tutorial on outdoor lighting.  Great light = great photos.  See, lighting is fun!  Happy shooting!


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