A seasonal portrait

I shot a young couple’s season portrait last night. So here, the explanation of my thinking.

This couple usually shoots a fall picture, but this time, their photographer wasn’t available and they left it a little late. So they hired me, and we did a Christmas-themed picture, since I happened to have been told Oakville has a large Xmas tree.

But there was little night – a night shoot. So this meant I combined a very slow exposure with a couple of flashes. You can see them here left and right in this pullback shot (you do know you always take a pullback shot, right, so you can see later what you did?):

One on the left with an umbrella; on on the right behind the couple, fitted with a grid. Both flashes on manual, fired using pocketwizards. 1/8 power (key) and 1/4 power (fill). The resulting picture:

And one more, my favourite from this shoot:

I would have added more lights perhaps given time, but this was a fairly quick shoot, plus it was freezing – literally freezing, around minus 5C.  Try holding light stands at -5C. Not fun.

So I used a slow shutter: 1/4 sec at f/8 at 800 ISO. Why such a small aperture? Because I wanted depth of field. So that means a slow shutter and high-ish ISO in order to correctly expose for the tree. Then I add flash.

Note that I also tided up the ground in post, removing oil stains etc from the concrete.



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