Summer in the Columbia River Gorge

January 21, 2017  •  1 Comment

 

Summer in the Columbia River Gorge

NSFW

 

My favorite place to shoot outdoors is the Columbia River Gorge.  It's beautiful, it's close to where I live, and I know several spots that have enough privacy for nude photoshoots, at least on weekdays.  On the weekends, hikers and tourists overrun the Gorge, so you need to go elsewhere.

 

This photoshoot was done over a year ago and as you can see it was Summer.  The outdoor nude shooting season here is roughly from May through September.  The lovely model can be found on Model Mayhem if you'd like to work with her.   Although many of my blog posts involve some pretty nice lenses, this shoot was conducted with three inexpensive Canon lenses.  When I'm not getting paid to do a shoot for someone, half the fun for me is playing around with different photo gear.

 

 

These first two photos look a bit like amateur snapshots, because I was experimenting with on-camera flash.  I really don't like on-camera flash, but I wanted to try it under these conditions.  Notice the shadow, indicating that I held the camera vertically, with the speedlight hanging off to the left side.

 

Switching back to available light, I had the model move to an area of photogenic rocks for various poses.

 

Fortunately, this was late in the day, so there was no direct sunlight.  Each spot that I use in the Gorge has it's own sunlight schedule.  The trickiest part is getting the color balance right, since the model is illuminated by the blue sky above and sometimes by reflected light from green vegetation.  

 

The photos up to this point were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon EF 24-105 F/4 L IS used wide open to create some moderate background blur without obliterating the scenic background.  This lens is a real workhorse and not very expensive.  You can often find it for around $600.  A Mark II is just out from Canon, but early reports say it doesn't offer much improvement over the already great Mark I.

 

Just for fun, I switched to a radically different lens, the Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 "pancake" lens.  I was shooting at F/4, so the background blur was still moderate.

 

After some full body portraits, I wanted to do some upper body shots and switched to the Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM lens.  This is a wonderful and inexpensive portrait lens, usable on both full frame and crop-sensor cameras. As you can see in the shot below, I was using a wide aperture for shallow depth of field in order to focus attention on the flowers.  This was at F/2 - the sweet spot for this lens when doing outdoor portraits is between F/2 and F/2.8 in my opinion.  It loses sharpness at F/1.8 and if you go beyond F/2.8 you don't get the nice background blur.

 

Now I can't wait for Summer to come back!   If you'd like to see a gallery with more pix from this shoot, just click here.  

Thanks for reading. 


Comments

Alan(non-registered)
Nice lighting. Perfect model and location. Thanks for sharing.
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