video episode 25, outdoor portrait photography tips #1


For the next three weeks we’ll be looking at outdoor portrait photography tips. Hopefully this episode will help out if you’re interested in ideas on how to photograph a senior portrait. It’s pretty timely, too, since is running their Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway at the same time. If you’re looking for portrait photography inspiration, check out all the entries so far in the flickr pool.

The day of video shooting was perfect in most all respects except for one challenge we hadn’t encountered before: swarms of deafening locusts! If we were just shooting photos I could have blocked it out, but there was Bob, headphones on, shaking his head and laughing for a number of takes when the locusts would really kick it up. Sometimes ya just gotta plow on through. In the end it all worked out great but the things you learn along the way…


The sun was low in the sky for these backlit images (it was mid-morning) and we shot around f5.6 – f8 with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens on our Canon 5D. With the lens around 100mm and the background way in the distance, we achieved a very out of focus background. I’ll mention that the floor below the subject was red in color and reflected a lot of red into the image, most of which was pulled out when the RAW files were processed. In next week’s video I mention how photographing around trees and bushes reflects a lot of green, so be aware of your surroundings in regards to the color and direction of the light.

The gallery of still images from this shoot may be viewed here. You’ll recognize the photo equipment used in this video from video episode 24, location lighting gear (laptop stand, reflector frame, battery powered strobe). I’m becoming addicted to the aluminum frame reflectors and will use two of them in the next video for some really cool results. Having messed with the plastic ones “back in the day” these are a great leap forward.

You can find the affordable aluminum frames and all of the other gear used in this video at Calumet Photographic.