Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making the best of a bad lighting and background situation

My good friend Randy Romo has been after me to take senior photos of his son, Tanner. However, since April we’ve had typical Pacific Northwest rainy and gray weather in the Puget Sound region.

When the weather was good for those few days, Tanner was off playing high school baseball for South Kitsap or for his Narrows Select Baseball team.

This weekend the weather was perfect. I was able to capture some nice senior portraits of my son Colin, dressed in his prom attire, in our backyard. Around 5:30 with the setting sun filtering through the trees and shrubs making for beautiful lighting, I set up a three speed light studio and took some pictures. Now this tuned out nice.

However, the only day I could take pictures of Tanner was Sunday morning at about 11:00. Horrible sun, however, we found a somewhat shady spot in his grandfather’s yard to make some pictures.

I set up three Canon 580 portable speed lights, using CTO warming filters, did a few test shots, adjusted the output flash of each strobe to match the ambient light and bingo - got the correct lighting. Most of my camera and flash setting were ISO: 50, Aperture: 3.5, Shutter: 1/250 and Exp. Comp.: -1.3.

In spite of the sun and background, these didn't turn out so bad. I would have rather taken them in the beautiful evening magic light, as I did with Colin, however some things just don't go your way. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to get that good “natural” lighting.