This family has a wonderful backyard, full of paths that lead through trees and past a manmade stream with a little waterfall. It’s the sort of backyard that ALWAYS presents a new and interesting background for photographs. This time I decided to use the stream as a backdrop, both because of its beauty and the time of day presented me with some useful shade (first image).
I tried to keep a natural look to the lighting, as befits the setting. So the ambient light factors significantly here. I’m probably underexposing it by one stop at the most. Meanwhile the main light is my trusty Metz Mecablitz 60 with a 43″ shoot through umbrella, camera left. And an SB-28 in a LumiQuest SoftBox III, at camera position. I also had a hair light camera-left, in a snoot. You can see a little bit of the hair light on the left edge of the hair of the girl on the left.
I used my Bronica ETR-s (645 medium format) camera, with a 75mm f/2.8 lens, and the new Kodak Portra 400 film. The camera was on a tripod. I did some post-production work to remove some of the dappled sunlight in the background, which I found distracting.
During my scouting of their backyard, I came across a little swing stuck in the trees, hidden off the side of a path. I basically had my butt stuck in the underbrush to get far enough away from the swing, but it was worth it. I love these individual shots! The lighting was similar to the first image, just reversed left-to-right (and no hair light). It was getting close to sunset, so the light was very dim. The tripod was an absolute necessity here! As always, I metered my strobes, then checked angles with a dSLR, then fired away with the film camera.