We don't have a lot of technique guest posts on the SCU site, because there are so many places you can find that kind of help. However, every now and then there's a post that makes so much sense to share. In this case it's thanks to Moshe Zusman and the crew from Profoto USA and a recent Photowalk while at WPPI in Las Vegas. (Note: there's a three minute video below of the Photowalk. Check it out and then put the 4th Annual Photowalk on your calendar for next year!)
Lighting is typically one of every photographer's biggest challenges. How many times have you heard a photographer profess about how much they love natural light? Do some research and you'll probably find, while natural light is wonderful, most of them haven't taken the time to learn to use other light sources or understand posing and composition.
In this short and to the point guest post, Moshe is going to give you five simple steps to help you raise the bar when shooting outdoors. Using strobes adds an easy complexity to your skill set that can seriously raise the bar on the quality of your images, but nothing can happen if you don't practice!
5 simple steps to consider when shooting portraits outside with strobes:
1. Composition. Be mindful of your backgrounds. Don’t blow them out – use the background to add drama and set the scene. Then expose for the background.
2. Pose. Know your subjects and keep in mind the rule of thirds. Don’t be afraid to try something edgy. Most of all, keep it fun.
3. Expose. Use your shutter to control the ambient exposure. Use your aperture to control the exposure of the light on your subject. Expose for the background – as though you are shooting a landscape. Then add your subjects and off camera light.
4. Light. In our photowalk, we used one Profoto B1. Keep it simple – a one to three light setup - and use grids to help shape the light. Adjust the power on the light and fine-tune your settings, pose and composition to get the shot.
5. Post. Keep images looking real and pop the color a little. Try creating a preset in Light Room that adds some contrast by making the tone curve a slight “S curve”, boost the vibrance slightly and add a little sharpening, a slight vignette and that's it!