Here’s a toss-up: pose by giant number cutouts that form your graduation year or go get some fresh air and shoot in YOUR natural environment? If the nursery themed photos are your look for high school graduation, read no further.
Continuing my “off the beaten path” series from last week I decided to take different routes than the usual trails I hike around Potato Creek State Park. I knew where I liked to shoot around the park (and the day before around Notre Dame campus with Chris) but knew I had two seniors that weren’t looking to have photos matching anyone else’s and weren’t afraid of a little meandering.
I’m all for using God-given sunlight for strong light, clouds and shade for diffusers, and bringing in a little extra light to accent the natural lighting around my subjects. Especially when hiking I’m not looking to set up a studio full of lights to completely alter a great outdoor setting. The two shots below illustrate what a little accent light can add to photos.
The sun wasn’t setting just yet but it was already below the trees and wasn’t putting much direct light in the ravine behind us. This let me shoot some soft light photos and an idea on how to add a little extra illumination for dramatic effect.
Above photo: Natural light, possibly even a test shot. (For you tech spec lovers, Nikon D700 with 85mm f/1.8 lens. 1/80 sec. f/2.0 exposure at ISO 400 for natural light. A little edge darkening in Photoshop CS4 for kicks.)
Photo above: Same camera, ISO and aperture as above but this time the shutter was maxed to 1/250th to match the highest flash sync speed. Why? This darkened down the background, and with a very slight bit of light from a Nikon SB-800 behind a shoot-through umbrella just off camera to the right, let me highlight my subject and make her stand out from the background more than in the ambient light photo.
Thanks to both Tabatha and Chris for humoring me with what would otherwise seem like wandering as ideas sparked instead of the preconceived shot lists from shoots past. Best of luck in your final weeks of high school classes!
Check out more senior galleries here, and drop us a line for a unique session of your own.