When I was asked to shoot SIXTEEN people outside in San Francisco I was a bit hesitant. The job sounded like a lot of fun but I only had ONE flash unit at the time, and the light it gave off wasn’t as powerful as studio lighting. It’s made to be mounted on-camera and used in event photography and simple portraits. I knew I had to get creative!
I’d been using this single flash unit off-camera for a while by this time, so I was comfortable with using the radio trigger mechanisms and positioning the light on my flash stand. However, even if I had put this flash & light stand smack-dab in the middle of the photo (blocking the people in the center) it still wouldn’t have the power to light everyone in the photo with such harsh sun like we were facing on that day. What’s the answer? COMPOSITING.
I decided to light a few faces at a time and just take several images of the scene and blend them together later to create one scene. Indoubtabely, the people who I’m lighting at each moment aren’t always looking, so I took about four photos of the right, four photos of the center of the right, and four photos of the left side of the group. I then, in Photoshop, chose the best expressions from each of the four photos, making sure they blended together well, to create the final image. Inspecting this image, one would assume I used a $5,000 studio lighting setup to achieve the look of this photo in such an outdoor setting. Yet it was a simple $500 flash with a $50 light stand and some Photoshop.
Below the four photos I chose to pull from in the twelve photos I took of this group. (CLICK the image for a higher resolution image). At the bottom is the final image!
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC (with 82mm polarizer), Canon 580EXII Speedlite on a Manfrotto lightstand, triggered with a Cowboy trigger. Edited in Photoshop CS6 & LR4.
Their enthusiasm for the shoot and the laughter and fun they exuded was infectious! Every time I talk to this family and see the photos I can’t help but smile! Enjoy!
So fun, was this opportunity to shoot Kyle & Michelle in San Francisco, the place they met and fell in love. Their first date was at this restaurant in the Mission District, and so we shot there to capture the memory. Continuing on, to Bernal Heights, we shot with San Francisco in the background as well as in the fields on the hill. With such a beautiful couple and a beautiful location, my job was easy! Here are some of the results!
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMkIII, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, 580EXII Speedlite
Sometimes when shooting outdoors with huge spaces for backdrops, you have to be a bit flexible. Priscilla & Jeff wanted their engagement photos on Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Unfortunately, the bridge was so foggy that day, you could almost not even tell there was a bridge there! So… improvisation…
To Alamo Square Park we went! And the Painted Ladies and the Financial District make for a great backup background. Thank you two for being so much fun!!
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, Tamrom 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Sigma 50mm f/1.4EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM. ND filter. 580EXII Speedlite. Edited in Lightroom 4.
When visiting San Francisco, photos with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background are a must, whether you’re taking photos with your own cameras, or hiring a professional. Crissy Field is a great place for such photos, as you can see below! This was taken on a very cloudy day which actually made for great natural diffused light!
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM. Edited in Lightroom 4.
So everyone that lives in San Francisco knows how beautiful it is at the northwestern part of the peninsula. Ocean Beach is one of those places that is quite beautiful. You have the beach itself, Seal Rock, the windmills etc… Also there is Sutro Heights Park and the Sutro Baths. This is where I had the opportunity to photograph this nice family who were coming in from different areas for a San Francisco rendezvous. Great shoot guys! [and gals!]
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX, Canon Speedlite 580EXII. Edited in Lightroom 4.
I’ve heard that “laughter is the way to a woman’s heart” and if that’s true, then I see why Esther and Ali fit so perfectly together! Ali is hilarious (I might even say crazy, but… the good kind!) and Esther is clearly head over heels for him (not in any of these photos though, so don’t worry, they’re PG!)
Thanks you two for an awesome shoot and may you have a pleasant move to Orange County and good luck with your future (though I doubt you’ll need it!)
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX, Canon Speedlite 580EXII. Edited in Lightroom 4.
When a beautiful family, a gorgeous home and a bunch of picturesque locations all come together on a single photo shoot, I just know everyone will be happy with the results! Well I couldn’t be happier with the photos from the Owens family shoot!
GEAR USED: Canon 5DMk3, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX, Canon Speedlite 580eXII. Edited in Lightroom 4.