Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe-Zambia border.
I was uploading today to Fine-Art America (a website for displaying and selling all sorts of artwork) and came on some images from an African journey a few years ago. As you know I like to post an image on Sunday that relates somehow to Friday’s Foto Talk post. How does this one relate to clouds? Well, with this much mist and spray it is very like shooting in fog and low cloud. In fact, the local name for Victoria Falls is Mosi O Tunya, which translates in the Tongan language to ‘smoke that thunders’. There is another (special) reason why this place is on my mind, but I’ll keep more personal details on the down-low for now!
I usually shoot waterfalls so that the water is smooth, but I’m always aware of falling into the rut of always doing it that way. I’m not sure that there is a “best” way in fact. It’s all in how you see the water. Often freezing the action looks too unnatural to me, but in this case it best captures the power of Victoria Falls.
This is actually low flow for this waterfall, believe it or not. There is no way to get to this point to photograph it when it is in high flow, when it becomes the largest sheet of falling water in the world. I scrambled over to the edge during a hike/wade out to Devil’s Pool (making my guide nervous). You can see a few people in Devil’s Pool at upper right. You jump in super-refreshing water right at the edge of the falls! It’s a bit scary, but really safe if you exercise a little caution.
Please click on the image to check it out on Fine Art America. There are all sorts of options for purchase, including metallic, canvas, unframed or framed, with numerous types of frames to check out. To view my whole collection over there, click My FineArt America Collection. It is some of my best! Thanks & have a great week ahead!
Low clouds and fog fill the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, helping to set off Vista House, subject of this recent image.
I think photographers take clouds for granted. Most of us seem to believe there is nothing special or difficult about photographing them. But most of us also seek out clouds when we are out shooting. So I think they’re worth a second (and third) thought. Whether doing landscape, outdoor portrait, street, really any photography is made more interesting with clouds. They make the light that much nicer.
Winter weather brings moody clouds in the forests of western Oregon.
I’ve been going out in bad weather lately, looking for low-clouds and fog to set the typical atmosphere of the oft-stormy Columbia River Gorge near home. It got me thinking about all the things one needs to consider when including clouds in photographs. By the way I consider fog to be simply a cloud at ground level; blame the scientist in me.
So here are a few things to keep in mind when including clouds in your compositions:
- When composing images, use cloud patterns to your advantage. For example, when clouds form lineear patterns, use them to complement the patterns in your foreground. They can help to define a vanishing point. And layered clouds can help bring out the often more subtle layering in your foreground. Also you can use clouds to help frame things, sort of like a natural vignette.
In this image from the Canyonlands area, Utah, layered clouds help to highlight the layers of color in the landscape.
- Depending on what you’re shooting, the right amount of cloudiness is key. So it’s worth trying to match the type of photography you’re doing with the clouds. Some examples follow.
- With landscape photography near sunrise or sunset, a broken, partly to mostly cloudy sky can yield amazing light. The ideal situation is when the low sun peaks underneath the clouds. The light bounces off and is refracted by the clouds on its way to your subject. This lengthens wavelengths, making light more orange or red. It also bounces that reddish light onto the landscape, and generally gives things a beautifully soft glow. You can easily be skunked too, when the sun sinks into a bank of clouds while the rest of the sky has perfectly scattered clouds. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
Light can be a little harsh & contrasty in the desert southwest. Clouds late in the day help soften things in this image near Moab, Utah.
- If you are shooting outdoor portraits, a relatively thin overcast sky can act like a giant soft-box, diffusing the light source so that it falls evenly over your subject. Of course beautiful light at golden hour can result in wonderful portraits too. But sometimes the light is just too warm on your subject and you need to adjust for that later on the computer. Overcast skies give you light that ‘gets out of the way’. Macro photography is similarly benefited when there is a continuous cloud cover.
This spring tulip has nice even light due to the overcast sky. Clouds also blessed my subject with water droplets.
- When low clouds and fog invade your scene, a scenario that’s very common at sunrise, you should not be too disappointed. Shoot the fog if it looks good, or simply wait for it to lift. Sometimes it begins to dissipate very soon after sunrise, giving you magical light and atmosphere.
Mist and fog shrouds the celebrated view of Mount Rainier from Reflection Lakes.
The images above and below were shot at Mount Rainier National Park as this was happening. Other photographers had arrived at this popular spot, only to be discouraged by the thick fog. They drove away as soon as they arrived. Meantime I was hanging around shooting the fog. When the sun started breaking through, they rushed back (I heard slamming doors up on the road). But the transition from fog to full sun was very quick and I was the only one who was able to catch it by the lake (instead of from the road). I was too busy shooting to feel smug; that came later!
The fog lifts quickly!
- When the cloud cover is heavy and there is very little chance of seeing the sun, certain types of nature and landscape subjects shine. This is a great time to shoot during the day, with none of the time pressures you feel at golden hour. Another advantage: it’s a great time to try black and white.
An angry sky in the Columbia River Gorge develops as a warm moist front moves in right after a day of snow and freezing rain.
- Low, heavy clouds can lend a moody feel similar to fog. I will often go out in the worst weather just to see if I can capture one of these moody scenes. Be selective; featureless cloudy skies do not tend to create this atmosphere as easily. Go for times of rapid weather changes instead.
Along a back-road in the Columbia River Gorge, with typical clouds and rain.
- A day with continuous cloud cover, however, is a great time to shoot in the forest. It’s similar to outdoor portrait and macro photography. The light is even, without the hot spots that plague sunny days in the trees. Since the light is usually very dim, bring a tripod. While more open landscapes lack color in these conditions, the forest’s green-dominated colors are richer and more vibrant. If it has rained recently, use a circular polarizing filter to tame reflections and make colors pop. If things are real dim and dreary, go with the mood – try black and white.
A small creek in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge rolls through a mossy forest.
- Clouds can easily be the main element in a photo. If they are interesting enough, you shouldn’t be shy about featuring them in your images. For instance when crepuscular rays invade a foggy forest (image below), a situation my friend calls “Jesus rays”, I almost always shoot so that the foreground is subtle or completely absent.
Winter is a great time to catch fog in the redwoods of northern California.
- And speaking of making clouds the focus of your shots, you can always shoot nothing but sky. This rarely makes a good image on its own, but can always be combined (composited) with other images that lack a nice sky. I can count on one hand the times I’ve done this; it’s because I really prefer capturing a single moment (and I’m painfully slow with Photoshop!). But I continue to shoot interesting skies. I place them in their own collection inside Lightroom. Who knows, there may come a day when I want to do more compositing. I try never to say never.
An early winter storm moves across the Alvord Desert in Oregon.
- When the sun is bright, contrast between the blue sky and white clouds can be pretty intense. Be careful about overexposing the clouds. A little overexposure and contrast is okay; viewers expect this in a sky like that. Programs like Lightroom do a great job of recovering highlights, so you can tame the contrast to some extent. But no software can recover highlights where exposure is completely blown out (lacking detail). Sure the sun, moon, and a few other exceptions can look natural when they’re blown out. But you should avoid it in clouds; you don’t want solid white with zero detail.
Gokyo Lake in Nepal, with that distinctive color that only glacial lakes can have.
To deal with the situation of over-exposed clouds, start by turning on your camera’s highlight warning (blinkies) so that you see on your LCD screen where you have blown out highlights. If your camera doesn’t have that feature, look at your histogram on the LCD and make sure it isn’t climbing way up the right edge. Or you can simply judge over-bright areas by eye. Bring down the exposure and re-shoot until the blinkies go away and you recover some detail in the bright portions. If doing this makes your foreground too dark, use a graduated neutral density filter to darken just the sky and leave the foreground properly exposed.
The Alvord Desert, southeastern Oregon. I used a graduated neutral density filter for this high-contrast scene.
- The opposite can happen too. You can underexpose your sky, especially when you have dark, brooding clouds. Though you can, as above with highlights, recover shadow details later on the computer, it’s not ideal to do this. You can end up increasing noise. It’s better to capture dark clouds either perfectly exposed or somewhat brighter. You can always darken them on the computer later. This is much better than brightening.
So let’s take an example. Say it’s a few hours before sunset and the sky is looking interesting, with broken or layered clouds. You have some decisions to make. Of course, as mentioned, you can go to the trouble: burn gas and time…only to be clouded out. Or you could luck out and get a spectacular show! It’s a gamble that will, sadly, not usually pan out. But it’s worth taking that chance. After all, it’s the only way you’ll get shots with truly amazing light!
- So you wisely decide to go for it. Now there are more decisions. For starters, where to shoot? If you think the sky will be really awesome, consider water, snow, or some other reflective surface. Water can reflect those beautiful clouds. Who doesn’t like double the beauty?
The Lamar River Valley in Yellowstone National Park is a peaceful place at dusk.
- If Mother Nature plays a trick on you and clouds thicken, graying out the sunset, don’t despair. Wait for a bit. I have seen gray, boring sunsets turn into truly technicolor skies after sundown. It doesn’t happen frequently, but on occasion our home star performs a final encore after it’s passed below the horizon. The atmosphere has a wonderful way of bending the light (it’s how mirages are formed). Patience and hopeful realism, along with a headlamp to get back to your car, is all you need. The same thing can happen before sunrise, so try to get there early in case the sunrise itself is dull.
The Grand Tetons in Wyoming appear to have caught fire just after an autumn sunset.
- Lastly, Mother Nature can also play the opposite trick, clearing the clouds out before golden hour. Stick with it. Though clouds are in many ways preferable, remember that a rainy and cloudy stretch has a way of cleaning the atmosphere. When it clears, it’s a great time to shoot pictures with far-away elements. For example, distant mountain and desert vistas are beautifully clear and pristine in fresh-scrubbed air. And if you are using a telephoto lens to capture wildlife, recently cleared air helps get the detail you want in your subjects.
The Colorado Rockies!
As always, these images are copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission. If you are interested in purchase options for any of them, just click on the picture. Please contact me if you can’t find what you want or have any questions or special requests. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
Clouds gift a colorful sunset the other day at Crown Point in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.
I wrote a full post for today’s Friday Foto Talk, but could not get it illustrated because of problems with my wonderful high-priced Sony computer, the very last product from that company that I will ever buy. In the meantime, enjoy this image from the (ancient) film archives, a time when I was young and full of fire, prowling the wilds of Alaska. I may be out of touch for awhile because of this. Have a great weekend.
Moose Pasture: Susitna River Valley & eastern Alaska Range, Alaska.
Traditional fishing boats are secured in a placid little bay on the island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. Click on picture for the high-res. version & purchase options.
I wanted to do a follow-up to Friday’s post on giving your photos a sense of place. This is a travel image from my month-long trip to Thailand several years ago. If you’ve been there or to any neighboring countries, or seen photos, perhaps you guessed the location. That was the idea! I composed the image so that the traditional Thai long-tail fishing boats were silhouetted against a wonderful sunset on the little paradise called Koh Lipe off the coast of southern Thailand.
I wanted to include the little boy fishing off the boat (at right), but in this shot he’s a bit too small. Right afterward I got a few where he was more prominent, but by then it had gotten pretty dark. This image turned out to have the best balance between the overall scene and the slow-paced, sea-focused life going on here. That really is the core idea behind including a sense of place into your photos. The goal is to include elements that will help to add some key details, and yet capture enough of the scene to both take advantage of the light and put the viewer into the scene – all in a well-composed, attractive image. The small things you do to give your images a sense of place will breathe life into them. And that can definitely be a challenge!
Koh Lipe was, when I visited, undergoing a transformation. It had been ‘discovered’ by tourists recently and so the vanguard of (mostly) backpackers had arrived. A small-scale building boom was going on. No resorts..yet, but there may be now. Next to the largest harbor and beach lies the island’s only real village. It’s a busy warren of rustic little lodges, eateries and a few gift shops. Definitely a buzz about the place. Outside of that it was still pretty quiet.
The beach in the above picture is on the other, quieter side of the island, accessible via a walking trail through dense jungle. I arrived just in time for sunset after a full day encircling the island on foot. I stayed in a sort of shack perched above a rocky section of coast not far from the backpacker village: a half-hour walk or 10-minute boat ride. My simple wood bungalow was open-air, had no electricity, and was much quieter and more peaceful than the village. Great snorkeling was steps away. And best of all, it cost $7/night. I suspect Koh Lipe is not the same now, but it has a ways to go before it becomes Koh Samui or (gasp!) Phuket.
A great option near Koh Lipe if you really want to get away from it all is Koh Tarutao. It’s a National Marine Park, so is nearly undeveloped and very pristine compared to many of the Thai islands. The best way to visit is to simply bring along a tent and food, walk down the road from the ferry terminal and set up camp at one of the beachside sites. There is one restaurant near the dock. I’m guessing it hasn’t changed much, being inside a park. It’s a rather large island with dense, mountainous jungle and a seemingly endless rugged coastline dotted with empty beaches.
This morphed into a travel post I guess. I’m going to cheat and include a second image (from Koh Tarutao). There are many islands in southern Thailand, but unless you want a resort experience or the (full-moon) party scene, you would do well to research the natural areas, then when you arrive look further for relatively undeveloped places that may not even show up on the web. They are out there. Thanks for reading!
Walking the beach on Koh Tarutao under yet another glorious Andaman Sea sunset in southern Thailand. Click on image for purchase options.
The ranch country of southwestern Colorado in late autumn.
This is a more subtle and difficult aspect of photography, a topic I’ve thought about off and on ever since I picked up a camera. Until now I’ve avoided writing about it. It’s one of those things you sort of feel when you see a picture. It can be subtle, and perhaps you don’t notice when it’s missing. But every image that has a sense of place is better for it, often much better.
I’m very subject-centered when it comes to photography. I really only care about the subject. It sometimes seems I only care about light, but that’s because any subject looks better in beautiful light. While a lot of photographers look for a subject (like a person or interesting tree) to put into a scene, for me it’s mostly about the scene itself. That’s because every scene is a place, and I think of places as subjects. Any interesting things – people, animals, rocks or trees – that I can include in the scene are there because they make the place more interesting to look at. For me, they’re smaller elements of the larger subject, the place. But if they don’t really belong there, I don’t really like the picture.
Courthouse Towers in Arches National Park, Utah speaks strongly of the American Southwest.
Okay, so now that you know my biases on the topic, let’s see what we can do about laying out ways to insert a sense of place into your images. By the way, even if you’re mostly a people photographer, or you do wildlife, these tips apply to you, maybe even more so than to landscape photographers. And if you do travel photography, this is important stuff!
- Learn as much as you can about the place: the plants, animals, human and prehistory. Of course you’re going to know more about areas close to home, but don’t get complacent. We’ve all been surprised to learn something we didn’t know about our home-towns or states. Use that knowledge in your photography. The more you know, the better your pictures will be, so when traveling don’t just research places to photograph. Start with the background information and let photo spots fall out from that.
- Study the pictures in magazines like National Geographic. The editors at Nat. Geo. nearly always choose images with a strong sense of place.
This shot of a farmstead in Nepal has a stronger sense of place by virtue of the high Himalayan mountain in the background.
- Photograph during “typical” weather conditions. For example, I live in the Pacific Northwest. This area is most famous for its rain and tall trees. I know (more than many residents) how diverse it is here, with glaciers, deserts and canyons, sunny grasslands. But when I can, and at least in western Oregon and Washington, I do landscape photography during rainy spells. If you avoid the stormy weather here, you are not going to capture images with the strongest sense of place.
The rugged coast along the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington is often wrapped in fog.
- When you have a strong subject, by all means zoom in. But also make images with a hint of background, perhaps out of focus. Include shots that are dominated by landscape, with the subject much smaller. Try putting the subject in the background with a ‘typical’ foreground. In other words, mix it up and shoot at a variety of focal lengths and apertures. When you view the pictures later, ask yourself which one has the best balance between impact/interest and a sense of place.
This house in Leadville, Colorado, registered as a historic landmark, is better placed with the foreground picket fence.
- Speaking of strong subjects, when you’re looking for subjects to target, think about how strongly they will place themselves. In other words, photographing waterfalls here in the Pacific Northwest is a no-brainer in terms of sense of place, even if a bit obvious. Some things like lighthouses could be on any coastline. So be on the lookout for elements that will zero in on the specific area.
A very recent image of Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge was captured during typical Oregon weather.
Several subtle elements come together here to place this shot. Look at the plant growth, the unique house, and take a guess where it is in a comment below.
- Move around. This is good general practice, but when combined with an open-minded focus, this can really open up compositions that add a sense of place. Sometimes I’m not even aware of it, but the desire to shoot a composition that is unusual or different will often yield a picture with a strong sense of place.
- While you’re moving around, try shots with very wide angles, focal lengths shorter than 17 mm. Even consider getting a fisheye lens. When combined with getting very close to things, this will help to put viewers into the image, which is part of giving them a sense of place.
- Look for compositions that include the little things that will tell viewers where the place is. This shouldn’t be subtle. People might not know as much about the place as you do, and so need fairly obvious elements to place it. For example, Spanish moss in the deep south, ferns here in the Pacific Northwest, red rocks in the Southwest, eucalyptus trees in Australia and baobabs or mopane trees in Africa.
The ferns and big trees give this image a strong sense of place, and many viewers would recognize the trees as redwoods, greatly narrowing things down.
- Include shots with plenty of depth. I wrote a blog post with tips on adding a sense of depth to your images, so check that out. Anytime your images have the illusion of depth, the viewer is drawn into the image as if they were there. By itself this doesn’t do much for your goal of including a sense of place, but in combination with the other things, it can be powerful.
- Shoot details and small scenes. This allows you to focus on one aspect of a place. It’s a great way to zero in on small elements that help to place the image, things that might get lost if they were part of a larger composition.
The adobe construction is apparent in this image of a historic home in Taos, New Mexico.
- Also do the opposite of the above. Step back and show the surroundings. Sometimes you can be too close, or inside of a place, which robs the viewer of the ability to see its overall setting. Sometimes this is called the “establishment shot”. It establishes the setting.
The mountain town of Ouray, Colorado is closely surrounded by the spectacular San Juan Mountains.
- Don’t forget a good caption. I did a recent post on captions. Although your photo should do most of the work of giving the viewer a sense of place, why not include a good subject-centered, educational caption to fill things out?
- Don’t turn up your nose at shooting the occasional sign, if they’re interesting and can be used to place photos in a slide show.
Crossing into a remote part of Colorado on a lonely road.
- Including some human elements in landscape photographs can help to give them a sense of place. For example, a rail fence says ranch country; when combined with quaking aspens, the impression of a rural Rocky Mountain setting is strong.
Sometimes the residents of an area have done the work for you. Shooting public art like this mural in Taos, New Mexico can add to your image the sense of place felt by the artist. The adobe construction also helps place it.
Colorado in fall means the quaking aspen are in golden leaf.
- One caveat: Beware the cliche! There is a balance between not being too subtle and overdoing things. This is most common with travel photography. If you’re including something like the Eiffel Tower, make it a small part of the scene, or somehow get a fresh take on it. Don’t avoid shooting something like the Taj Mahal straight on, especially in beautiful light. Just move around and try different compositions and perspectives.
Prayer flags in the Himalaya are not hard to find, so they have become super-abundant in pictures. But they still insert a strong sense of place into an image. Just don’t overuse them!
- When it comes time to process your images on the computer, pay close attention to the mood you create. Often it’s useful to try the image in black and white to see if it strengthens its sense of place. The idea of place is tied to that of time, so if you think having an ‘old-timey’ look will help, then go for it! Whatever you do, don’t treat all images in a similar way (such as high contrast and saturated colors). This is from someone who was guilty of that for a time.
Lake Crescent on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula has the kind of low-key atmosphere that harkens back to the old days of summer vacation, a mood enhanced by sepia and film grain.
An image with a strong sense of place can make the viewer a part of the scene, which of course strengthens your images and makes people want to look at them. And it’s not just travel photography that benefits; all sorts of pictures are made better with a sense of place. Have a great weekend and happy shooting!
Road to Nowhere: This image is actually one of my favorite images from the desert southwest. I know many wouldn’t agree, but you tell me. Despite the lack of any obvious identifying features, does it have a strong sense of place?
An image from Arches National Park in Utah profiles the park’s typical ‘fins’ of orange sandstone.
I caught this couple spending time together near the cathedral in Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
This is a topic I’ll admit I don’t have a ton of practice with. One reason is my aversion to ever shooting weddings. That said, I do love photographing couples, either in portrait or candid. There is very little to it, actually. All depends on how comfortable the couple is with each other (how long they’ve been together) and how comfortable they are with you, the photographer. A few tips:
- The Closer the Better. For portraits, when you first get a couple in position to photograph, they will most likely be too far from each other. You will invariably need to ask them to get closer. Keep a light atmosphere, don’t make it seem like you want them to swap spit or make the shot look otherwise classless. But get them touching.
- Focus is Key. Unlike with a single person, it’s more difficult to get focus right with couples. You will likely need to use a smaller aperture, with larger depth of field, in order to get both people in focus. This is a much bigger deal when you position one in front of the other, but watch it even when their faces are side by side. Try to position yourself so both pairs of eyes are the same distance from you. Then you have the option to open up your aperture more and go for less depth of field. Every few shots call for a mini-break and check out the shots on your camera’s LCD, making sure (at minimum) both pairs of eyes are sharp.
- Create a Relaxed Atmosphere. Do what feels natural to you in order to get them comfortable. Be yourself. Music can work wonders, just make sure you’ve asked them what they like and play that. Often all it takes is a little time, and a somewhat stiff poses disappear, replaced by natural and attractive ones. Take that time. And be ready to shoot away when poses and expressions turn natural.
- Expressions. The idea is to avoid the stiff, formal look. Smiles are great but I’ve found they can look phony if you just ask them to smile (depends on the person). Do things to get their expression to change. Try telling jokes, or asking them questions that pique their interest or get them thinking. In fact, if they are thinking about anything but the fact their picture is being taken, even if it’s only for a second or two, you increase your chances of getting more natural and attractive expressions.
- Get it Right in Camera: Move stray hairs, get rid of lint or smudges, and have them position their faces so as to minimize anything less than attractive. For example, you may need to remind people to move their chins forward slightly to give faces a slimmer look and avoid double chins.
- Mix it up. Though I do very little “directing”, you can easily mix things up by changing their positions, asking one to look at the other, or asking them both to look at various places. Before you start, get in mind whether you’re just going to use one place/background or several. Also think about whether you want standing, sitting, lying or other positions. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple and working variety into it in more subtle ways – such as with expressions.
- Candids: Although it’s not nice to be a paparazzi, you should consider sneak shots if the light and setting is right. If you’re found out (which is more common than not), just smile and walk up to tell them it was just too tempting, that they are too attractive a couple, then show them the shot. It’s usually a lot easier to explain than it is with individuals (though that isn’t hard either).
- More on Candids: Candids can work well with smaller apertures, where more of the scene is in focus. Though the couple receives less attention than with portraits, don’t worry so much about their getting ‘lost’ in the shot. The viewer will naturally lock on to any person in a picture. Look for story-telling pictures with couples, think beyond cuddling or gazing into each other’s eyes, go for unusual settings.
- Background Matters. See the discussion below. Just realize that whether you are shooting a candid or a portrait, the background can make or break the shot.
- Lighting Matters. I won’t go into artificial lighting (flash) here. That’s worth a separate post. See below for a discussion on natural lighting considerations.
An attractive Norwegian couple on holiday at beautiful Laguna Apoyo, Nicaragua.
If you’re using a natural background or inside in a room, the background will likely be too busy. It will have too much detail. If you shoot so both your subjects and the background are in focus, that detail will draw attention away from the lovely couple. So your depth of field will need to be shallow; that is, you will use a large aperture (small f-number). But don’t use such a large aperture that one of their faces are out of focus.
If you’re shooting portraits, you can always use an artificial (paper or fabric) background, in which case your aperture can be smaller. Then you can shoot at an aperture that is sharpest for that lens (usually two stops above wide open). Make sure to get the lighting right on the background, as well as the couple.
The vaquero on the left was sweet on this young woman from Ometepe, Nicaragua. Though I should have had him tuck his shirt in completely, I think it’s funny that he apparently hurried to do it before the picture.
With natural lighting, the more diffuse the better. A cloudy day is great, as is indoors next to a window, so long as the sun is not shining directly into it. If you have bright sunshine (and the sun is not setting or rising), go into the shade of a tree or building. Often you can get great light on a bright day by moving to a place that is at the edge of shade but near a reflective surface (white pavement, water, etc.).
More ideas: If you can, consider using a reflector to bounce natural light back into the shadowed side of their faces. An assistant or stand is likely going to be necessary, as is a reflector that’s larger than one you might use with a single person. Don’t let one person cast dark shadow on the face of the other. Try shooting them right at the edge of shadow for a little drama.
I hope you got something out of this. I wrote it partly to remind myself that I haven’t been shooting enough people of late. But you are the main reason. Let me know if you have any questions, or have any interest in one of the images. They are copyrighted and not available for free download, sorry. This is especially important since individuals’ privacy is at stake. Have a great weekend!
A couple kisses at sundown on top of Rocky Butte in Portland, Oregon. They didn’t know I shot this until immediately after, and were not bothered.