Shoot Type: Location Portrait
Today's assignment was to produce some location portraits for Kayla's portfolio, which was accomplished at 3 different locations throughout the day.
We (Kayla, Kayla's Mum, my assistant, and myself) started out at Isel park in the morning - it was a "glorious day" (meaning sunny, without a cloud in the sky) - which - unfortunately - often creates problems for photography due to the high sun creating unflattering light and hard shadows (overcast days are a LOT easier to work with). So basically I'm looking for shaded areas, but with backgrounds featuring colours & textures.
For this shot I've chosen to use the tree trunk as an anchor for the shot - it's been shot at F2.8 to throw the background out of focus, but with 4x Canon 580EX II Speed Lights (in high-speed sync mode) (mounted on a 4-Square) firing into a single soft box for some serious fill/key lighting (the background exposure has been reduced significantly to make the subject "pop", and to increase the saturation of the background).
Gardens of the World
The shoot continued after lunch at Gardens of the World (just out of Brightwater). For this shot I've chosen a background that I thought would nicely compliment Kayla's hair colour -- and again, using essentially the same techniques as the first photo. (By the way, the flashes are triggered using PocketWizard Mini TT1 & (4) Flex TT5, which allow triggering at speeds up to 1/8000th of a second. Without this capability, it would be impossible to achieve this kind of shot as it would be necessary to stop down the lens to reduce the shutter speed, which would inturn affect the background bokeh significantly. This is a significant advantage over using more powerful lights like Elinchrom Quadras).
The final set of the day was shot at Nelson's back beach. We arrived early evening (hoping to shoot against a glorious sunset) (which didn't happen!), but still got some great shots anyway.
For this shot I've used the same lighting rig as described above, but with full CTO gels (in anticipation of the colourful sunset that wasn't!); in post processing these give the option of either revealing healthy "golden" skin tones (not to mention making the orange dress really pop!), or if corrected, wonderful saturated skies (as more blue is added to the white balancing to counter the orange of the gells, a-la the 2nd shot below).
There's one last shot from the shoot that I'd like to share -- it was shot directly into the glare on the water. It's shot at F32 @ 1/8000th @ ISO 100 and is pretty much straight out of the camera (sans sharpening and a little cropping, but NO B&W conversion) - it just goes to show the sheer power of specular highlights (but makes for a nice photo!)
(More images of Kayla in my galleries at www.pbase.com/cjsouthern)
Until next time ...