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Archive for March, 2010

Mothers Day Portraits

Saturday afternoon my shooting buddy Graham and I went with my mother for a portrait shoot at a location near the River Severn in Powys. It was quite cold which focused us on what we wanted to cover. We had some objectives which included specific types of shots in natural light. Once that task was out of the way, our next task was to tastefully add flash to natural light. Most of the shooting we’re doing at the moment has very specific goals of what we want to achieve and this last weekend was a great start! As my mother is elderly we had to adopt an image strategy that would suite her. Before we went out, I got my mother to choose the correct clothes, scarf and a selection of hats to take with us. Also, we hoping to use a reflector more… but it was just too cloudy and around 4pm.

Location near the River Severn. ISO 800, 1/60 sec, F8, Aperture Priority, +0.7 EV.

Different camera angle. ISO 500, 1/160 sec, F4, Aperture Priority, +0.7 EV.

ISO 500, 1/125 sec, F4, Aperture Priority, +0 EV.

Then is was time to use a single flash bounced into a Kood 24" umbrella which was placed about 10 feet away. My goal here was to get better at mixing ambient light with flash. Using bare flash is too punchy and wanted a much softer look for this image. ISO 400, 1/200 sec, F4, Manual.

Same setup as the previous image, but a close up...

I now always check what other options they are and with the same location and same setup, I took this from a different angle.

Then back to natural light and this shot was around 3 stops over compared to what the camera would have chosen. ISO 800, 1/40 sec, F4, Manual.

Now that we were back to natural light, Graham noticed that we could add a little kick light without disrupting the natural light feel. So we setup a flash on very low power to add a bit of kick light on the right side of my mother's face. ISO 800, 1/30 sec, F4, Manual.

This is the setup from the previous shot. Graham shooting...

Same location but just round the corner. A single flash on a stand. ISO 400, 1/100 sec, F5, Manual.

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It’s amazing how photography can inspire people! Every now and again, my friend Graham and I would go out for a few beers and I’d eventually end up updating him on what I was doing as far as photography was concerned. I’m just so buzzed with the whole industry! Last year Graham decided to jump into the fire and he purchased a Canon 40D with a 17-85 IS kit lens in the July 2009 timeframe. We went on a few photo shoots and continued to chat about all things related to photography! It’s so cool to go out with a shooting buddy…

I was really impressed at how quickly Graham became familiar with the camera and when he started taking nice images, he knew why he needed some ‘L’ glass. Since then he’s purchased the EF 24-70mm L F2.8 USM and the EF 700-200mm L F2.8 IS USM lenses (not mention flashes, stands etc). These lenses are real money and he’s taking some really nice images with them. We’ve been on portrait shoots, photographing bands in pubs, location scouting, etc… Last weekend, Graham has gone further by photographing a show at the local theatre company and he often goes to festival events to shoot there also.

It’s simply amazing to see someone so inspired about photography¬†and he’s really getting involved with the whole process. Graham is also going to his first Damain Lovegrove workshop which we are both doing in Amsterdam later this year. Really looking forward to it! I just happen to have a few landscape images that Graham has taken over the recent winter period.

Photograph by Graham Law.

Photograph by Graham Law.

Photograph by Graham Law.

Photograph by Graham Law.

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