Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Adapting to your surroundings and creating amazing images!

As a photographer you constantly have to adapt to the different locations you shoot in. Sometimes you get lucky and are able to shoot in beautiful locations and other times you're not so fortunate.  In this post I am going to show you how I created an amazing image with a single speedlight in possibly the ugliest location I have ever shot in... (My Parking Garage!) Here is the final Image.  Keep reading to see my process.
The other day I was shooting with my friend Ashley for her blog Beau & Arrow Nashville.  The shoot was going great when all of a sudden it started pouring down rain and we were forced to head inside.  We unfortunately had one more look to shoot and she suggested shooting downstairs in the parking garage.  I was hesitant because it looks like this...
At least there weren't any cars in it at the time...

Anyway, you can see why I had some reservations about shooting in the garage, it is almost the definition of UGLY! Ugly walls, ugly lights, ugly floors.. you get the point... then I noticed the low white ceiling and my feelings started change.  Any white surface is my best friend as a photographer. I can do a lot of different things with a white surface and just one light. 

In this case I just had one speedlight but I knew that was all I needed.  My idea was to bounce the light off of the ceiling basically creating a big soft box to light my subject.  I also flipped up the fill card on the flash itself in order to add a little catchlight in the eyes.  Check out my setup below.  

It doesn't get any more simple than that!

Here is also an image of what Ashley looked like when the flash didn't fire.
You pretty much can't even tell what you're looking at.  Thank heavens for flash am I right?!

Here is the image that I created using just the flash bounced off of the ceiling.  
Its a world of a difference from the image with no flash.  Still, I thought it needing something else to make the image really pop.  In the past I have used a technique in Photoshop to create fake sunsets when mother nature may have not been cooperating or just to add to an existing sunset.  I thought I would try to use that same effect but instead of using orange colors I would use a blue instead.  Also, instead of creating just one light source I would use 3 to really fill out the frame.  



This post was not intended to go into depth about photoshop techniques,  I will cover that specifically in another post (so keep an eye out for that).  Instead, the purpose of this post was to help you think outside the box and not give get down when you find yourself in undesirable situations while shooting.  I've found that a majority of shooting on location shooting is problem solving so you really need to be able to work with that you have.  

If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner. 

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and if you want to see more be sure to subscribe and also follow us on Instagram @ReadylightMedia and "like" us on Facebook!

Until next time,
Jeff C.