“Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.”
Kira is a perceptive and warm model with a natural instinct for posing. She is very tall (almost 6ft) and has a great look; she should do well as a model and I wish her all the success in the field. Her instagram (@kira.olver) has the following quote: “Insecurity kills more dreams than failure”. Inspiring words from an intelligent and beautiful young model. Thanks Kira.
It was an overcast day – perfect for an outdoor shoot. The clouds spread across the sky ensure that there were almost no shadows where anyone stood. So there was flexibility for all kinds of lighting conditions in the planned 6 hour shoot (Thanks Stephen Loban for organising the workshop). First set up was with a speedlight duct taped to a small shoot through umbrella. Flash and ambient light were balanced effectively with a light meter and placed initially to the right of the model. After a while a few shots were taken without the flash and the full natural light was awesome by itself. On the downside there was a lot of post colour correction required to minimise the uneven light temperature because of the green light from the nearby leaves. This might have been addressed if I took a test shot with a grey card to set the white balance, but I doubt it.
There were no reflectors used in this shoot and I have mixed feelings about reflectors. I see the effect it has on models; they can have a hard time when the sunlight is reflected directly on their eyes; so a flash can be a little gentler because it is an instantaneous burst of light. In addition, a lot of new photographers don’t use a reflector effectively. A lot can be gained by feathering the light from the reflector (the term given to using the peripheral light from a source and not the direct light), bending the reflector in convex shape to spread the light, or focusing it more by making it concave. Where the reflector is held also has a big effect on getting rembrandt, side or clamshell lighting. I plan to make a post covering the use of reflectors in the near future.
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Next setup was against a grey wall. The natural light was augmented with a ring light set 45 degrees off from the model. The results are shown below. The slightly harder light sculpted the face contour and brought out the contour of her cheekbones. I tried adding a golden tone to her skin in post for the 2nd shot just to see how it worked with her, It gives the appearance that this was shot later in the day, but I am not sure which I prefer. I generally tend to prefer cooler tones because I am tired of seeing honey coloured skin in magazines; but I was trying something different for me.
The next 3 photos have no supplemental light, this is all the even lighting from the overcast day.