Sunday, 9 December 2012

Shooting Portraits Outdoors - Update 2

I've been really busy lately and am now working a daytime job... Photographers need a steady income too and so I had to resort to being a manager during the day. That's not so bad because now I am enjoying the little time I have for shooting even more.
This update is about my latest outdoor shoot with an extremely beautiful young model that seemed to like experimenting (with photography) just as much as I do. It's almost Christmas so I took her out for a warm cup of tea and pictures by the jolly holiday lights downtown. I didn't know what was going to happen so I told her in advance that this is purely an attempt at what could go with zero good photos in the end.

All rights reserved by the photographer!
All rights reserved by the photographer! 

I won't lie, I did very little preparation before the shoot because I was going to be outside in the cold weather since the morning and spend the whole day through before the shoot running errands. I had to travel light so I just picked my 50mm prime lens and my trustworthy dSLR, checked the battery and the counter for remaining shots. So far, so good!
Here's my advice for this type of shots:
  • Ask your model to avoid dark colors for such photos.
  • The weather is cold so get a warm drink before the shoot.
  • Make sure you have mounted wide aperture portrait lens (this will give you the needed shutter speed and wonderful bokeh at a lower ISO setting)
  • Do not be afraid to use ISO between 400 and 800! Play around with the ISO if you feel the shutter speed is dropping below 1/45 (or 1/60 if your hands are shakey from the cold).
  • Make sure you have a nice background and sufficient front light.
In this case if you manage to use your settings and location right you won't need a flash (just like I did not need one).
I guess the rest is just practice so please read my update one and the original first article on outdoor photography for more details and advice.

Happy holidays and keep shooting,

Kamen Kunchev

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