Examples of natural light (or ‘available daylight’ a more accurate description) corporate staff portraits and portraits for private clients in London and locally within Surrey. Shooting with only the available light can be difficult to master. There are many considerations to account for such as time of day, light direction, reflected colours, background, choice of lens, iso and shutter speed /aperture.
The beauty of working with only the available light without adding supplementary lighting, is the ability to setup quickly with minimal and lightweight equipment which is always good if you have to haul gear up stairs or a long way from a parked car. More importantly it allows you to focus on the subject, is less distracting and intimidating for the subject and is very flattering if the ratio of shadow to highlight is balanced well.
Looking back over 2013. Lots of ground has been covered this last year both professionally and personally. With travel to Poland to photograph the Doosan Way and with my own relocation from Cambridge to Reigate, Surrey. As always corporate and healthcare has been a primary focus for my work. I had the pleasure of working with the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust Hospital taking photographs for their Annual Review and a visit to the Brompton Hospital by the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt. I have begun to focus more on portraiture and in particular environmental portraiture, working with the Financial Times on a Business Life feature and the Netherlands largest medical school Erasmus MC.
Recent portrait work commissioned by the Financial Times to photograph the Eben Upton the Founder of Cambridge based Rasberry Pi for the FT Business Page. Rasberry Pi manufacture pocket sized affordable computers for school children. Priced at £24. The company has won acclaim for inventing the versatile computer which can be put to a multitude of uses.
I don’t normally get to see what my subjects see as I stage a photo shoot. But thanks to Chris Collister and some great black and white images shot on a Fuji x100 I can see a new perspective on my work. Thanks Chris!
Taking a group photograph at Trinity College, Cambridge, UK.
Slightly different style of portrait commission, than I would normally undertake. A Cambridge based musician asked me to produce a range of stylised images he could use online and for self promotion material.
Simple corporate headshot diagram. The is a typical lighting set up I use when space is limited and I need to travel with minimal equipment. The back light usually a lastolite umbrella softbox allows for the choice of either a rim highlight with lighting on the background as well or just a rim light if the umbrella is swivelled 180 degrees and feathered away from the subject and background.
Creating natural lighting on location with speed lights.
During the recent snowy spell in Cambridge I went out with a warm flask of tea and some small Nikon speed lights to try and capture a natural looking environmental portrait.
The sun was low and behind my subject and was casting sun beams through the pine foliage, I wanted to shoot my subject as though some of this sun light penetrating through the forest was providing the illumination on my subject. I also wanted to keep the background low key so that the dark depth of the forest was retained while keeping detail in the areas light by the ambient light.
Two Nikon SB800’s were used off camera and synced with pocket wizards. I used a white umbrella and soft box umbrella both placed camera right about 45 degrees in front and behind the subject. My working aperture of f/11 determined the final camera settings: iso 400 1/80s @ f/11 I wanted to have a reasonable depth of field to retain depth and clarity of the sun beams in the background. In hindsight a third light placed high up and without a modifier to create the effect of sunlight falling on the surrounding forest floor would have have added more realism perhaps or possibly placing my subject nearer to where light was hitting the forest floor could have added something. However at the time I wanted a muted, low contrast image with a broody tone and the focus to be on the subject and background. The whole effect is aided by the snowy conditions acting like a giant fill reflector. In the end this was achieved. Lighting diagram below.
The new Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooks, Cambridge, UK. Gallery here Always pass this on my cycle ride to Cambridge, and love the way the light falls on the metal cladding. Looking forward to seeing it completed and all the fencing disappear.