If you are like me, you love this time of year. The days get shorter, the light is brilliant and the colors are magnificent. Our clients seem to love this time of year as well. layered outfits, jackets, boots, scarfs, vest and more. The texture of the outfit just lends itself so well to this season. Autumn is a wonderful time of year to be a photographer but depending on where you are located, it may not be fall just yet or you may be approaching winter. In today’s post I want to share with you a technique we use to make it Autumn all year long.
Before we get to the post production technique, I must first talk about lighting. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you know lighting is an important element for me and it is the first ingredient in making a photograph. For this image, I first had to evaluate the existing light. The sun was relatively low in the sky producing long shadows and a hard light quality. The sun was also positioned behind and to the right(camera left) of my subject so her face was going dark. I added a Profoto B1 with an umbrella box to add light to her face. I postitioned in a way that augmented the existing light, paying careful attention to the light quality, quantity and direction.
The strobe took care of lighting my subject, but my background was still very specular and bright due to the direction and intensity of the sun. The left side of the image was darker than the right due to some shade from surrounding trees. To combat this I used a 2 stop graduated ND filter over my lens and took away two stops of light on camera right. Then by using my shutter speed I was able to balance the ambient light with my strobe and create an image that looks like it is naturally light and not flashed or created using HSS. Now to the autumn portion using post production tools. I utilized The “Indian Summer” filter in the Google NIK Color Efex 4 collection I was able to create the beautiful reds and golds of the fall season. NOTE: When using this filter, pay close attention to any green your subject maybe wearing as it it will change that as well as any evergreen foliage in the image. Having a spruce tree red is a dead giveaway of this technique or pine beetle. If you have not used the Google NIK Collection filter before, check it out for free here.
Here is a quick video showing this technique. Happy creating, Cris.