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Lighting is Easy Blog

Free resource for learning how to use off-camera flash and studio lighting.

Quick Environmental Portrait with One Light

Chuck Vosburgh - Sunday, March 31, 2013


I had the pleasure of teaching at Photo Day Tampa Bay and my topic was environmental portraiture. Photographing someone in an environment consistent with what they are known for makes the image more interesting and personal for the subject. In this example, it was in the middle of the day with bright sun and the trees made hot spots all over the place. Here's how it was solved step by step:

Step one: Control the sun

The sun was brought under control by blocking it with a large reflector. 

Step two: Get some light on the subject

I used an 28" umbrella, slightly to the right.

Step three: Darken the background

To help the subject stand out better, I increased the shutter speed to darken the background. 
That's it. Easy.

Points to remember

F-stop controls the artificial light and shutter speed controls the ambient light.
Longer focal length gives a shallow depth of field making the background nice and blurry.

Here are the specs:

1/60 second
ISO 100
f-5.6
90mm
Norman portable strobe set at 100ws
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