Creating An Environmental Portrait

April 14, 2014 § 4 Comments

Greg "in Wyoming"

Greg “in Wyoming”

I love environmental portraits.  It used to be that if you wanted to shoot someone in Wyoming or wherever, you had to go to Wyoming or wherever.  If I was with my friend Greg in Wyoming, I would place him in front of a beautiful background and light him with either a reflector or a portable strobe.  Since the sunset/twilight would be behind him if we were really at this site, I could use a reflector to add just a very subtle hint of light on him, or a strobe to separate him more from the background.  You could dial in the power on the strobe from just a hint or more to really overpower the background.  You could even add a neutral density filter to really subdue the background.  Of course, with today’s limited budgets on many shoots, photographers need to create the scene in their “digital darkroom”.  Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of scenics that I now use for my composites.  When I’m trying to match up a subject with a background, the first questions I ask myself are, “do these two images together compositionally, make sense”, “does the lighting make sense”, and lastly, “will the final composite look realistic”?  The fun part for me is that I can combine my love of studio lighting and my love of available light photography.  As with most of my work, I used Photoshop, OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 8, and Topaz’s Adjust and Topaz’s Detail.  Here are the “pieces and parts” that went into the making of this image.

"Greg Original...At Our H.S. Class Reunion"

“Greg Original…At Our H.S. Class Reunion”

"Wind River Mountains... 1974"

“Wind River Mountains… 1974”

Greg "in Wyoming" Once Again

Greg “in Wyoming” Once Again

Thanks for checking me out!

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