Yesterday on a rather grey and drizzly afternoon I did an outdoor portrait photoshoot with Melissa who is looking to build up her model portfolio. It works well for me as I am able to put into practise all the off camera lighting lessons that I am currently being taught by the Big Dog himself, Damian McGillicuddy through his Mentor Me on Steroids Scheme.
We chose a park in Bourne Lincolnshire and set everything up. Using my 19″ Beauty Dish (a Damian special!) with Canon 550EX Speedlight as a main light, and a Canon 430EX as a rear light fill, and of course the old faithful my Canon 5d camera body with the weighty sigma 70-200 DG EX zoom lens (for all you techies out there!!) I was ready. A few curious swans caused a bit of consternation – they would insist on getting up close and personal but we gamely shot on and were getting some lovely results ( I think anyway!)
Then disaster struck – my radio controlled trigger suddenly stopped working which meant the flashes would not go off. Frustratingly the trigger only needed a new battery – which I had – but needed a tiny screwdriver to undo it – which I hadn’t!! As I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve it I knew it wouldnt be possible without those flashes. One of the photos below shows what the difference is without the flash – it’s fairly obvious! It looked like the photo session was over before it had really began.
Thankfully, like the true girl guide I used to be I had a bag stuffed full of back up equipment and remembered I had brought the Canon STE2 transmitter. It’s not my favourite bit of kit nowadays – Damian has taught me how to manually control flash so I dont need the through the lens metering saftey blanket that I used to. It also is a bit limiting for what I want to do now so I was compromised somewhat. However, we carried on and you can see the results below. A few tweaks in Photoshop Lightroom and a couple of interesting post production finishes and we’re done. I’m looking forward to using these techniques on my wedding photos and also to doing some more outdoor portrait shoots very soon!