Photoshoots with these pro models often produce my best and most creative work, because I'm free to shoot the images I want, not those that a client has requested.
This blog post chronicles an outdoor shoot that I did with St. Merrique last week in the Columbia River Gorge. I love shooting in the Gorge, partly because I know of some secret spots where you can do nude photoshoots.
Shooting outdoors is a big change from my usual studio work and I really enjoy the challenge of working in uncontrolled conditions. I usually bring along one Alien Bees 400 studio light and a Vagabond Mini battery pack to power it. I find it to be a nice combination. You do get a little bit of light fluctuation if you shoot fast, but it's not a problem for me. I like to use a small (24 inch) umbrella outdoors. Anything larger risks being blown over by the wind, even though I have the weight of the Vagabond Mini on the light stand. For this shoot in a windy location, I also put a couple of fist sized rocks into a fabric "sandbag" and hung that on the base of the light stand. That did the trick, no toppled lights on this occasion.
These two images of St. Merrique on the red fabric were created with the Canon EF 100mm F/2 on my 5D3 at ISO 100, 1/200, F/2.5. This lens is not super-sharp wide open, but if you stop it down about 2/3 of a stop, it sharpens up nicely. The lighting on this shot was provided by the blue sky overhead with appropriate color balancing in Lightroom to keep her from looking blue.
For the photo below, I used my Alien Bee as a front light while the model was illuminated by the sun coming from camera left. The lens was my workhorse Canon EF 24-105 F/4 IS L. Exposure data: F/6.3, 1/60, ISO 100. I was able to balance the flash and daylight without using a neutral density filter, which made me happy enough to snap dozens of variations of this scene.
The next two photos show a completely different approach to lighting. Since the model is backlit, I had a choice of using my strobe to balance the light or simply let the background be washed out. I chose the latter, because I wanted to see the backlight coming through the pink fabric. I had to brighten the shadows a bit in Lightroom and adjust the color balance a lot.
I was happy to give up some technical image quality to get the artistic look I wanted. If you would like to see more photos from this shoot, click here to see a gallery of selected shots.
You can find our lovely model, St. Merrique on Model Mayhem. She's great to work with and travels to many areas.
Thanks for reading!
A sex-positive photographer serving your private photography needs.
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