Ok, so it was only late March, but we definitely took advantage of the warm afternoon. This was a session done purely with the intent to play with off-camera lighting outdoors. As a photographer, I think it’s always good to keep learning and keep challenging “the way we always shoot it.” I have a studio and use off-camera lighting indoors often, and, although I shoot outdoors a lot, too, anything other than natural light outdoors has always been a little bit of a mystery to me. I’ll be the first to admit I do not have a love affair with my 580EX external flash, but I do love my giant octadome and strobe.
We attended this year’s Imaging USA conference in San Antonio and watched Hanson Fong’s presentation about lighting and light modifiers indoors and outdoors. One after another, he showed what we deemed to be beautiful shots taken in natural light outdoors – taken in open shade or backlit the same way many of us do today. Then he showed those exact same images with just a pop of off-camera light and/or reflector and “wow” is really all I can say. The images went from great to fabulous. In the first issue of PhotoVision 2011 (I highly recommend this series!), Angie Monson shows how she rocks the off-camera flash (with her 7 foot softbox out in a field) to overpower the sun during a family session and maintain that beautiful, crisp, deep blue sky and clouds.
So armed with a desire to play, Carmen and I loaded up the 4Runner with the giant softbox, strobe, our 580EXs, a 5-in-1 reflector and three willing participants (thank you, Kim!) We quickly discovered that our master plan to power the strobe remotely was a failure. Nix the softbox. We’re flexible, right?
So onto the 580EXs and reflector. While I’m typically used to backlighting in strong, high sun conditions, we purposefully placed the boys with the sun falling on their faces and then adjusted our camera and flash settings to expose correctly and overpower the sun. Many of the shots of our beautiful girl were taken solely with the gold reflector to get a warm glow and sparkle back up into her eyes with the sun behind her. All in all, I’m glad we played and can’t wait to get the right generator for the strobe to try more new things. Enjoy some of my favorites!
P.S. the beautiful fabric flower bouquets are from Little Rue.