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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LOCATION PORTRAITS AT FMOPA



I teach workshops and photographic safaris at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in downtown Tampa and one of my recent ones was "The Five Minute Portrait." As a commercial photographer working almost exclusively on location, the time window for portraiture with CEO clients can be extremely limited so you have to think fast and often make a picture when one isn't there. The following images were made during the class with the gracious help of model Emily Larberg-Smith.

Many of my students who attend these classes are new to the DSLR world of photography and simply looking to improve their own portraits of family and friends. Given the ability of current cameras to function well at high ISO values, I often encourage students to pay attention to available light and then shoot wide open, often using a tripod. The images with red backgrounds were executed with available light and while not the most dramatic technique, they illustrate that portraits can be achieved without location lights. Composition and lens selection are critical. 




The images below were executed with a 50mm lens and a 70-200mm lens utilizing one small Nikon strobe diffused by bouncing it into an umbrella. There are limitless lighting strategies when working on location but I often recommend to beginners to keep it simple and work with one light and try and wrap it around the subject. Kicking a light back into an umbrella is often an effective technique for achieving this objective. While I could've gelled the strobe to match the fluorescent background, I opted against it as I felt that Emily popped off the background better by keeping the strobe cool.

More classes and photo walks in the fall lineup at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts include Zen and the Art of Photography, Tarpon Springs Photo Safari, Rock N Roll Photo Safari and Lighted Bridge Safari.



 
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