My good friend just finished her nursing degree and got a great job opportunity in Seattle, WA. I’m immensely jealous and proud of her. She has worked very hard over the past few years to finish her nursing degree and just graduated this past spring. She was worried she wouldn’t find proper employment in this economy but I was confident she would. I’m jealous that she’s moving to Seattle tho, It’s been my long term goal to move out there. Something just draws me to that part of the country. I have an excuse to visit Seattle more often now.
Before she leaves town, I made her agree to pose for portraits so that I had pictures to look at when I miss her. She’s a stunningly beautiful girl and her inner strength just exudes through her skin in pictures. We went down to Lake of the Isle in the uptown area to do portraits on a beautiful sunny day. I again had a chance to practice using my speedlight strobes, while using the sun as my main fill light and set up our first shot on a park bench with the lake as the horizon line. I got a little creative with the speedlights and put one directly to her left 90 degrees on the bench. I was very pleased with the results and used the other two strobes to fill in her face and right side. We then moved on to a large elm tree as our second backdrop. Something about the position of the sun and the placement of the strobes really clicked. I popped off one of those portraits that just seems to “glow” perfectly off her skin, highlight all the right areas and looked practically perfect in the lens.
For the final set-up, I had her standing right by the waters edge on some stone steps the disappeared into the water. I had seen a few outdoor portraits on flickr that I wanted to replicate the look of. They all had a body of water, a blue sky with clouds, and a foreground subject bathed in artificial strobe light. The never looked garish or blown out, but you could tell there was a light source illuminating the front of them for the camera. The sun was at their back and it appeared to be a bright sunny afternoon. I essentially set up everything as I imagined it had taken place in my source material and started playing with my cameras exposure ratios and strobe intensity. I’m somewhat pleased with my results, but I defiantly think I need more time to figure out the right balance of exposure and strobe intensity to get the exact effect I am envisioning in my mind.
I’ll just keep finding guinea pigs to practice my lighting effects on. I have another friend coming to town this week, and he was fore-warned of his mandatory portrait session. (*evil laughter*) At the end of August, I will be going on self-assignment to the Minnesota State Fair to photograph. Like the firework shoots, these will be opportunities to broaden my skills in other styles of shooting.