I had about an hour and half to shoot with Lisha earlier this week, a last-minute scheduling. I committed a cardinal sin: I didn’t check my gear bags before heading out to the shoot. As a result, once I got there I found that I had no umbrellas or any other way of diffusing my lights. But this might have been a blessing in disguise: with fewer tools to work with, I focused on getting some shots using natural light, and then, after the natural light went away, using hard light to get some dramatic, shadowy looks.
Above, a simple headshot done with pure natural sunlight. The background is completely dark because we were actually inside a large abandoned building, with an open door to the left letting the light in. But nothing else inside was lit – hence the studio look of the shot, with the black background and soft directional lighting.
This was outside the building, taking advantage of some nice color in the flora. Again, nothing but natural light here, and shot wide open with a 85/1.4 to minimize depth of field.
The one serious non-gear problem with this shoot was that mosquitoes were everywhere. Once the sun went down, they immediately got so bad that we really had to wrap things up quickly. Lisha changed and we shot a series of photos in which I used a single CTO’ed SB-800 to cast some hard light on her and match her blue dress with the blue sky. We worked kind of frantically as we were getting eaten alive, and came away with a couple decent shots.
Dusk is my favorite time of day to shoot, but it’ll certainly be a lot nicer to shoot at that time when the weather is a bit cooler and the bugs are just a memory.