The Arizona Shootout is a group photoshoot that has been going on for many years. The organizer rents a photogenic location and puts out the word to all interested photographers and models. The photographers pay to attend and the models attend for free. Both hope to get great photos for their portfolios. The primary genres are Glamour and Art Nude photography. For recent Shootouts, the organizer has rented an old western mining town - or at least a reasonable facsimile of one!
The event usually goes for three days, I was only able to be there for two, but I still came away with around 2,900 images - a new record for me! In order to get a blog post out quickly for my friends to enjoy, I'm cherry picking a small number of images that will give you a general idea of what went on at the Shootout. It will probably take me a few months to go through them all, but it will be a fun task when I return home for the rainy Portland winter.
Part of the fun of any photoshoot is figuring out how to deal with challenging lighting conditions. In this case the brilliant Arizona sun was not my friend. This first image was taken early in the day, around 9 AM. By having the model look almost directly into the low November sun, the shadows on her face could be minimized. As the sun rose, this became impractical and other options had to be brought into play. Some photographers fired up powerful strobes, some used shiny reflectors and some used both.
Here is an example of a shot I did a bit later with the sun fairly high in the sky. I used a strobe to provide fill light, but even with that, the shadows were not attractive. Rather than fight the sun, I moved indoors.
The following group of images were taken inside buildings that were open on one side, allowing lovely soft light to enter. No lighting equipment was needed, although some photographers chose to supplement it with strobes or reflectors. Just so you know, I'm not doing any retouching on the images I post here. They are all processed in Lightroom to adjust the exposure, color and crop. I set the camera to Auto White Balance and RAW mode. Very little color adjustment was needed, but I often warmed up the indoor shots with the blue-yellow slider in Lightroom. That's especially needed when the model is illuminated mostly by light from the blue sky.
The next group of photos was taken indoors, primarily illuminated with a single Alien Bee strobe reflected from a silver umbrella. I used a Vagabond Mini battery so that I did not have to worry about finding an electrical outlet.
That's all for now. I have lots more images to include in Part Two!
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