NATURAL OUTDOOR PORTRAITS WITH LIGHTING
The Grand Tetons make the perfect background for outdoor portraits – even if it’s not the mountains themselves, just about anywhere in Jackson Hole and the surrounding areas is fit for a portrait shoot. To enhance your subject. light them! Not just with the sun, but an auxiliary or artificial light. Doing so can be tricky – you don’t want an artificial look, but a natural one. It all comes down to correct lighting.
Lets take a look at what made these portraits successful.
First, an image of a photographer in front of String Lake at Grand Teton National Park. We used a Godox auxiliary light to brighten our subject on a rainy, cloudy day. With a low aperture on a 70-200mm lens, I balanced the light by exposing for the background and then taking the image with the flash. This image is beautiful because the lighting is appropriate and beautiful for the subject and setting. The lighting was just right and feels natural with the environment.
Because it was a cloudy day, using speedlites at a high power were able to cast light on some of my subjects for outdoor portraits. I adjusted my speedlite to only light up an area that needed a little boost. I set up a Rembrandt lighting position for my subject and set him against a colorful and bright background. Because of the overall brightness, you might not recognize any definite source of lighting, but if you look closely, one side of the subject’s face is lit up more than the other. Again, using auxiliary lighting is a powerful way to capture a beautiful and natural-looking outdoor portrait.
The final image was also taken with a speedlite, although the lighting is a little more dramatic and not as natural as the first two. We had a beautiful setting with dark, textured clouds in the background and a setting sun behind us. With a boost from a speedlite, I was able to enhance an otherwise flat image. It was a blustery, autumn evening. I felt it was captured in this image very well. I did have to adjust the brightness to look more natural with the setting, but it made for a great natural outdoor portrait.
Check out this awesome setup for lighting outdoors!: