An autumnal woodland location shoot….

With the weather in the UK quickly getting darker and wetter as winter draws near, location shoots have to be spur of the moment decisions! And what better way to make use of the change in seasons than with a woodland location shoot full of autumnal colours……

On board for the shoot we had our model Lucy and also Miriam King to provide make up (and occasional lighting assistance as with the feature image above!). The shoot was arranged on Thursday with view to shooting on Saturday, weather permitting. We were aiming for some elegant fashion style images and the chosen bright red dress fit the bill perfectly.

The day itself was pretty overcast and dull, so some off-camera flash, within my favourite modifier (24 x 24″ Lastolite Ezybox), would juice up the lighting to give some punch….

The method of this was similar to as described in a previous post. Lower the ambient light levels to our taste and take up the added slack with the off-camera flash to provide some soft directional light. As I have radio triggers that only permit manual flash, I needed to meter the flash power for my chosen aperture and ISO settings at the distance the light will be from the subject.

These then are the fundamental parameters effecting manual flash exposure…Aperture, ISO, Distance (from flash to subject) and Power.

The idea for this photo was to have Lucy walking through a small woodland clearing to provide a series of naturally moving shots. Crucially then, the flash in the softbox had to remain at the same distance from Lucy that I had pre-metered for whilst in a static position. Not only then did Miriam provide fabulous make up for the model but she was also on hand to walk backwards through some treacherous ground holding my beloved flash and softbox in the air!

Camera settings for the above image:
ISO 640, f4.0, 1/200

Thankfully for Miriam, the shoot also consisted of some more static positions for which I was able to use my light stand to hold up the flash and soft box…..

The available ambient light was dropped even lower to give quite a different feel to the above image, although the principle in the lighting set up remained the same. The tree behind was illuminated slightly to emphasise the twisting branches using a second flash gun, which fired in response to the light emitted from the main light on Lucy. The power for the second flash was set to my taste based on a couple of test shots, but all done very quickly within a minute or two…

Camera settings for the above image:
ISO 640, f4.0, 1/60

Looking at both camera settings for the above pictures, the second image has an increased exposure of approx 1.5 stops. However the ‘background’ is clearly darker in the second image than the first, which shows how much darker it was in this particular area of the woodland compared to the first.

And there we have it! A combination of an impulsive shoot with all fingers crossed for ‘ok’ outdoor weather, a fabulous model and makeup, and the help of some additional controlled lighting.


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