Photo shoot on a farm

Kurt Von, Owner at Kurt Von Studios

5 February 2016

I recently did a shoot with my friend Caitlin at a farm we found along the side of the road.

My friend and I did a quick shoot near a farm we found along the side of the road. It was late afternoon so the lighting was perfect. That beautiful golden hour just starting to set in. I was shooting with both 35mm film (Portra 400 and T-Max 400) as well as digital on my Nikon D800 with a 85mm f/1.8 lens.

I wanted to go for a very natural look with earthy tones. This was shot on a cold winter day which normally feels cold. I wanted to bring some more warmth into the images so I used the natural sunlight at golden hour to help bring more of warm inviting feeling into the images. To achieve this I photographed her with the sun behind her soI would get the warm light pouring into the camera. This cancelled out the cold winter feeling.

Sometimes it can be hard to shoot directly into the sun so I had to photograph her with the sun slightly offset from the camera but still allowing the light to fill the background and catch the backside of her. This position can produce some interesting lens flare and often a white smokey look that resembles a slight overexposure.

The exposure for these images can be very tricky. I used a handheld light meter to get the correct exposure on her. I didn’t want to expose for the background, rather I wanted to get the exposure of the light falling directly on her face. Using a handheld light meter is perfect for this situation. If you use the light meter in your camera, it’s going to give you an exposure for the overall image. The strong background light will throw that off giving you a much darker image which will put your models face in shadow. Not something you want. I’m okay underexposing the model slightly to ensure that my background isn’t blow out too much. Shooting in RAW allows you to adjust for this.

Images from the shoot.

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