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KYH: Woodland shoot

Howdy, campers.

This is the first post in a series that I’m going to tag “Keep Yourself Honest” or KYH for brevity (it’s in the same family as GYOA – “Get Off Your Arse,” made popular by Zack Arias and others).

The point of these posts is to give myself some targets to meet, in public. That means that I’ll not be able to come back to the post later to see whether I met my targets, but because I’ve made it public it also means that I’m less likely to welch on trying to meet those targets in the first place (one of my big flaws being that I find it too easy to listen to the lizard brain).

So, to the point at hand.

I’m planning a photo shoot in some woodlands near where I live. I’ve already put a casting call up for a model and a makeup artist on Model Mayhem (to which I’ve had several responses, rather surprisingly), and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be in a position to choose which model I want to work with (though I’ve inadvertently managed to offend one of said models by misphrasing “there are several people interested” in such a way as to make it sound like “I want someone better than you,” which is especially galling when you consider that this particular model has a really interesting portfolio).

Anyway, in keeping with the spirit of KYH, I’m going lay out what I intend to accomplish here:

1. Try out some lighting techniques

Specifically, lighting a background for texture.

I’ve been itching to try out some of the stuff that Drew Gardner demonstrates in his Location Lighting DVD, and this woodland shoot is the ideal way to do that for that.

2. Practice shooting with a model

I know I’ve shot with models before, but not many. And let’s face it, Katie Green is a gift to a photographer, otherwise she wouldn’t have been doing the sessions at which I had the pleasure of shooting her. Whilst I’m expecting whatever model I work with to be professional, having them be someone with whom I’ve never worked before will put me slightly outside my comfort zone, which is always a good place to be.

3. Produce three different looks from the same location

Basically, I want to produce the following looks in the woodland location where we’ll be shooting:

  • Natural light only, daylight, quite a warm, woody, spring-like feeling, without adding any flash. I’d like to do some fairly close-up portraits and mid-range shots in this look.
  • Natural light + flash, using the flash to add texture to the image and give it a slightly more artsy-feel whilst still using the natural light as the main light. This is what Bert would refer to as “flambient light”. I’d like to do some wider-angle shots with this look.
  • Minimal natural light + flash, using the flash as main, with the natural light as minimal fill, also using flash to selectively add to the background (which is pretty much what you’ll see in the image that goes with this post). I’d like to do a range of wide angle to close-up shots with this look.

So there we are, ladies and gents. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet (to myself). I’ve no date for the shoot yet, that’s obviously dependant on availability for both me and the model and the (currently hypothetical) MUA.