Jump to content

Tips required for a photo shoot


Recommended Posts

In the next few days, I will be working on a photoshoot involving taking pictures of a dark-skinned community.

Part of it might be in woodland settings. Weather forecast is overcast/rain. So no much light at all.

 

I am trying hard to avoid using fill-in flash which I hate. I will be using my Nikon D4 which is good at high ISO.

 

Do you guys think I can get away with not using flash? Any other tip?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Gen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wear a white t-shirt? Have someone hold a reflecting panel?

;-)

Usually overcast is fine. Keep one eye on where the light comes from and when in doubt, let them look towards it. If this feels unnatural, get yourself a bit above your subject and let them look up to you.

A stool usually works wonders. (for the sitter - not for you; for yourself you could use a small stepladder: 3 or 4 steps is ok)

For posed portraits I use stools in 3 sizes: a regular one and 2 bar stools of different height, plus a box or a case for under their feet. But I do use strobes for those - not flash.

If there is sun, also try to shoot portraits in the open shade next to a light wall. An EZ up is a great daylight  studio. They are widely used at outdoor events. I have a couple myself, because not everyone uses white ones.

 

wim

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, gvallee said:

In the next few days, I will be working on a photoshoot involving taking pictures of a dark-skinned community.

Part of it might be in woodland settings. Weather forecast is overcast/rain. So no much light at all.

 

I am trying hard to avoid using fill-in flash which I hate. I will be using my Nikon D4 which is good at high ISO.

 

Do you guys think I can get away with not using flash? Any other tip?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Gen

 

Are you talking environmental/lifestyle/documentary shots of people doing things where you are just essentially observing or more formal portraits where you are posing people and controlling things or a bit of both? Whatever the case, get yourself a big golf umbrella (to protect your kit from the rain when shooting), a reflector and somebody to hold them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, gvallee said:

In the next few days, I will be working on a photoshoot involving taking pictures of a dark-skinned community.

Part of it might be in woodland settings. Weather forecast is overcast/rain. So no much light at all.

 

I am trying hard to avoid using fill-in flash which I hate. I will be using my Nikon D4 which is good at high ISO.

 

Do you guys think I can get away with not using flash? Any other tip?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Gen

 

Gen, in a previous life, I shot extensively with the D4 and did use fill flash, when needed, mostly using the TTL function of an SB-800 or SB-900.  You can certainly try to get by without fill but with dark skin and heavy overcast, I would recommend taking a couple of SB's with you.  I used the Nikon SC-29 TTL off camera shoe cord w/AF assist.  With this set up TTL is a breeze and you can keep your flash off camera for some directional light.

 

I used a tripod with my D4 most of the time so it  was easier but would use an assistant, VALS, (voice activated light stand), when I could.  Easy-peasy as they say.  Good luck, in any event.

 

Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your replies. It's all a bit overwhelming for me, I have no experience in portraiture.

 

My assignment is to document community projects: people working on projects or pausing in front of their achievement. It's not entirely formal portraiture. 

 

Rick: thank you, I have exactly the same equipment as you describe. Only that my SB-800 hasn't seen the light of the day for years. I have an off-camera bracket for it too.

 

Thanks all!

 

Gen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gen, do I understand correctly that you have some control over your subjects? If so, I would not add a lot of extra gear. I would go with available light. You're not going to be shooting in a basement with the lights off, are you? Relax and enjoy the shoot, enjoy these unusual, special people. Connect. Good luck.

Edited by Ed Rooney
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Gen, do I understand correctly that you have some control over your subjects? If so, I would not add a lot of extra gear. I would go with available light. You're not going to be shooting in a basement with the lights off, are you? Relax and enjoy the shoot, enjoy these unusual, special people. Connect. Good luck.

 

This is a very sweet message Ed. Thank you.

I do feel lucky, in fact I'm shaking with excitement.

 

Gen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, vpics said:

 

Plus reflector. Take flash guns and just try it out. 

Just taken lots of shots in the woods, and it's still pretty dark in places.

 

Good call.

Edited by Colblimp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given what you say, I'm with Ed here. Just use available light if  possible - your D4 should be able to handle low light levels well. You want to be as unobstrusive as you can be to get natural pictures of people doing things and artificial lighting may kill atmosphere which is presumably important.

 

The fact that you almost never use flash (...my SB-800 hasn't seen the light of the day for years) would complicate things as you would be worrying about technique rather than concentrating on getting great pics of your subjects. Putting catchlights in eyes is unimportant if people are not looking at you while they are doing things. Do consider a reflector for posed shots as this will give catchlights and lighten faces. The radial filter in Lightroom/ACR is a great quick face lightening tool and works really well on NEFs. You can always add catchlights in Phohotshop to a few pics if really necessary.

 

Bring along your flashgun in case you need to use it of course. Obviously you don't have lighting stands and triggers for off-camera flash etc (the D4 doesn't have a popup flash which you can use to trigger off-camera flashes) and probably won't want to invest or try out new techniques on a job. Also you might be able to find a few cheap LED lights as continuous lighting is a lot easier to use than flash as you see what you are getting as you shoot - perfect if shooting black and white especially. If shooting colour, then you might want to use a gray card if lighting is mixed or shooting in woodland - saves a lot of messing with colour balancing in post and it also helps with getting exposures right - you won't want to meter directly from dark skin.

 

Best of luck.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MDM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

overcast in woodlands is much better than bright sunshine...softer,, more diffuse and much less contrast to worry about....

 

A job i did a couple of weeks ago

 

julie-hillman-female-gravedigger-working

 

 

and with a bit of off-camera flash, through a white umbrella (held by a VOLS)....

julie-hillman-female-gravedigger-working

 

Edited by RedSnapper
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/21/2017 at 20:31, RedSnapper said:

overcast in woodlands is much better than bright sunshine...softer,, more diffuse and much less contrast to worry about....

 

A job i did a couple of weeks ago

 

julie-hillman-female-gravedigger-working

 

 

and with a bit of off-camera flash, through a white umbrella (held by a VOLS)....

julie-hillman-female-gravedigger-working

 

 

It also has the added bonus of no blue leaves and branches. Very hard to get rid of. Blue on blue.

Thank you for the examples.

 

Gen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Foreign Export said:

Have fun - sounds like a great experience

 

Been said above - but I would suggest

 

make a connection with the subjects

tripod

no flash

maximise any natural light

 

Martin

 

 

Thank you Martin. It will be a new experience for me.

 

Gen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.