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Outdoor shoot for a friend..

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by Seth, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Hey guys I've got an opportunity to take some portraits for a coworker/friend. Her son has Leukemia and is going through chemo right now but has a week off and she'd like to get some pictures taken of him and his sister/cousins to give as a gift to the childrens grandpa. So she asked me to help.

    Anyhow, I'm thinking of doing it this Sunday before he has to go back in for another two weeks. My problem is that all I have is a D50 w/ kit 18-55mm lens, 50mm 1.4 and 70-300 lens. Which of those would be best for an outdoor portrait setting? Also, I do not own a flash at all so I'll be using the sun as my only light. Would you guys suggest I purchase some sort of reflector to bounce the sun a bit? If so, where would you place the subjects and reflector in regards to the sun?

    Thanks for any information you can offer. I hope to take some great shots to provide this family during this rough time in their life.

    Also Moderators, if this is the wrong forum to post this in please feel free to move it. =]

    edit: forgot to mention, I may be able to borrow an sb600 from a friend for the weekend.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2007
  2. You should do fine whith the gear you have listed.

    If you can go to Hobby Lobby or and office supply store, get yourself some white foamcore board. It's about 24'x36", lightweight, and an excellent reflector. You can use skyglow to help even out the light. Hold it at a 45 degree angle on the side away from the sun to brighten up the shadows.

    Go with zoom rather than wide-angle up close. Format in camera to leave room to allow cropping.

    Good luck.
  3. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the info. I'll pick up a piece of foamcore board and test it out a bit before the shoot. I suppose I'll stick with using the kit lens for this shoot so I'm not doing much foot zooming. I sure like the sharpness of the 50 f/1.4 but I suppose the 18-55 will be the best choice for this situation eh?
  4. The reason I mentioned using the zoom is that when you go wide-angle, you have to get closer and that makes the subject look "plump" or "puffy". Neither one is particularly appealing, especially with a female subject.

    (Does this lens make me look fat?)
  5. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    That makes sense. I originally told them to all wear white t-shirts and blue jeans. Would that be best for the springtime colors that will be provided in the landscape surrounding them? Or would another color be better? I thought I read somewhere that all of them wearing white made it hard to meter.
  6. KikoMan


    Jun 30, 2006
    Washington DC
    Here's a lowly 50/1.4 from a D40. There was snow on the ground (reflector):
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  7. Look for an area that is in shade, preferably with a darker background. Your equipment is fine. Open your lens up some to throw the background out of focus. A garage works great, just open the door and position your subject near the front. The white foam core board will work well as a reflector. Normally the background will be dark enough so as not to be distracting.

    Wooded areas will work as well but stay away from dappled light and look for true shade. You might also consider the shaded side of a building; however, you must not have a bright background in your photo or it will ruin it.
  8. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    We'll likely be meeting up at a park near their house to do this. So is it best to set them up with the sun coming down to their side with the reflector on the opposite side of them for fill? Or better doing it with the sun to their backs and using a reflector up front (below the camera) to fill their faces? I'm new at this obviously so just hoping to cover all aspects and come up with some good photos for them. This is for free but I still want to do the best possible job. =]

    Thanks for all the help so far Rick, Frank and Gordon.
  9. Seth you got some great shots on your site. You do what you've been doing and you should have no problems!
  10. 1FASTZ


    Jan 25, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Seth, after seeing your website, I think we need to be asking you these types of questions. Looks like you have your stuff together already. Good luck on your shoot.

    I hope all goes well for her son, it's saddening to hear of his situation.
  11. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks Brian and Marty. I appreciate the compliments on my shots but I still feel like I'm not sure what I'm doing! Ah well, I'm sure it'll be alright. You guys have boosted my confidence a bit and I'll be posting back with the results soon.

    Also, he is doing well so far. Hopefully the next round of chemo goes smoothly and we'll see where he is at that point.

    Thanks again.
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