I had a cancellation this week and with such beautiful light, I really wanted to get out to take advantage of a beautiful summer night in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Due to forest fires raging in the north, we were left with hazy skies and a faint aroma of campfire that seemed to bring everyone unknowingly into their own past. Many of the stories I heard were tied to earlier days and childhood memories, everyone with their own recounts of what the familiar scent means and why it is important to them.
It also made for some great soft light, so I was really excited to set up this shoot.
We picked Kristen up and headed down to Wascana Lake to see what sort of scenery we could find. It wasn't hard to find some interesting surroundings. As with my typical self, I was immediately drawn to the water.
I decided I wanted to bring some extra lighting for this shoot so I brought along my 48" octobox and speedlight. I wanted to improve my skills of shooting with a speedlight with direct sunlight, so this was a great opportunity to try out some things.
We started out at Wascana Marina right near a small dock. The light was nothing short of incredible but did require some fill light due to the angle. I decided on the settings I would start out at:
1/250s: I know that this is the max sync speed for my hardware. You can always slow down from here, so this means setting exposure as close as possible then dialing it by slowing down (if need be).
ISO100: When shooting outdoors with a fast lens, I find there is usually an abundance of light so using the lowest ISO possible is very common.
f/7.1: I try to open up as much as possible without blowing out the highlights. It may require a couple test shots but I usually land somewhere around f/7.1.
After a few test shots, it's time to bring in the big guy: the octobox. I control the flash manually and have it a couple notches below full-blast. I position the flash to give a nice catch light in the subject's eyes and fill any shadows cast from the sun. I also tend to deviate during the shoot based on the result I am seeing, and perhaps due to the weight of the softbox and wind resistance.
I was lucky enough to have my assistant, Tashia, who has also been improving her photography skills lately. She has always taken BTS shots for me but has also been getting outside of her comfort zone with the talent. We decided to include some of her photos in this post.
We took some shots from the dock but then decided to change locations. Tashia spotted this great wall of weathered wood panelling. It made for an incredible backdrop and faced the light perfectly. This location was all natural light which made it really easy to work with.
It was a really fun session to do and I was glad we could get some photos of Kristen before her due date that is coming very soon.