natural lighting « Jurgen Doom

Portrait photography – on location shoot with Myrte – part 3: flashlight

18 May 2009 om 11:25 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,kids,Portrait

This is the last post of the shoot with Myrte on location (a field at midday in bright sunlight).

After having used flaslight to brighten up the shadow side of Myrte and to balance it against the harsh sunlight coming from the back, I wanted a few shots of her where the flashlight became the predominant light, hence underexposing the sunlight.  This would give a totally different feel to the image than what we saw in the previous posts.

In order to do so I had to set the flashlight to almost full power so that the flash could overpower the sun.  Using f/14 at 250 I dialed in an exposure setting into my camera that effectively would create an underexposed image, but the use of the flashlight added enough light on Myrte to get a correctly exposed image on her.

The result was about 1 usable photograph because Myrte got bored of being a model and wanted to enter her airy fairy princess world …..


Portrait Photography – on location shoot with Myrte – part 2: natural light with flash light

14 May 2009 om 12:26 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,kids,Portrait

In the previous post I explained how I photographed Myrte, a 6 year old girl, in a field on a bright sunny day.

After the initial shots without flash, I decided to use a flash (Nikon SB 900, triggerd with pocket wizards) to brighten up the shadow side of Myrte.  Since the sun was coming in from behind her (at left), I had to lighten up the right side of her face and body.  In order to do so, I choose to balance the light from my strobe (speedlight) against the sun so that the amount of flash added to Myrte would compensate for the loss of light on her shadow side.

This was done by adjusting the level of the speedlight.  It was aimed directly at Myrte (no use of any translucent material such as umbrella, ….).

The images were downloaded into Adobe Lightroom 2, where I adjusted the image to my liking (by boosting the blacks, exposure and by bringing back the saturation).



This next image was converted into black and white (with boosted highlights and blacks, in order to keep a balance in the image).


After about 10 minutes into the shoot, Myrte wanted to wear her “princess” dress.  So after a change of clothing we continued the shoot.  Notice the very light sky which, in effect, had a rather deep blue appearance.  But by overexposing a bit I rendered the sky lighter than it was in reality.


Finally we had some action going.  I asked Myrte to turn around a few times in order to get movement in her dress.  Due to the fact that I used a flashlight I was able to “stop” the action without getting blur in her face.


Portrait photography – on location shoot with Myrte – part 1: natural lighting

5 May 2009 om 20:09 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Portrait

Myrte is a 6 year old girl whom I photographed on location – in a field – during a bright sunny day.  We had loads of sunshine during the shoot.


In order to take full advantage of the sun and still be able to control my lighting, I positioned Myrte in such a way that she had the sun coming from behind her.  Hence, her face and most of her body was in the shade.  By exposing for that part, I overexposed the sun-lit part of her body but rendered everything else as correctly exposed.  It’s also the reason why the sky is for the most part totally washed out.

portrait outdoor kids

portrait outdoor kids

It doesn’t take long for children of this age to get bored with what’s going on, so I shot a relatively quick succession of images.









Images were shot with Nikon D3 en 1.4 50mm and 1.8 105mm fixed lenses and post-production was done in Lightroom.

Next post will illustrate the addition of flashlight to the same setup.