This one is a long time in coming – longer than I thought when I posted the preview.  The extra post-processing steps I’ve been working with aren’t hard, but they do add several minutes to each photo, and aggregated across a shoot that adds up.  But working with a subject as great as Sara, it’s totally worth it.

Despite having some good shots to show, it wasn’t the shoot I had hoped for.  The fault with that lies with me, since I’m the genius who botched it up from the start.  The only good news is that I was able to roll with it and keep shooting.  I think Sara knew that it wasn’t going as planned, but she was kind enough not to comment on it.
Here’s what happened: I nearly ran late, threw my kit together, and blew out of the house without doing a proper pre-shoot check.  The result was to be expected: I showed up without several key pieces.  Like the light-stand mount stud, which prevented me from putting the umbrella adapter in place.  And without the transmitter unit for my radio slaves, so even when I jury-rigged a Justin Clamp with the umbrella, I couldn’t trigger the flash.

So there was no possibility of using flash, just the late-afternoon ambient.  I wanted to kick myself for being such an idiot, but I didn’t want Sara to see how badly I’d screwed up, so I just packed it all away and announced that we were going to shoot natural.

The first series, with the bubbles, was something I’ve wanted to try for quite a while.  It didn’t come out quite like I had hoped, and of the 100+ shots we took, I only kept 2.  Even with flash, I’m not sure it would have worked (although perhaps in a studio setting?).

I’ve actually wanted to do an ambient shoot for a while, so it was good to have the chance, although I’d have preferred to work it with an assistant and a reflector for some fill light.  With just the two of us, the trick became finding spots where the light was best – sometimes full-on sunlight, but more often in dappled light or on a shadow edge, where the drama was better.

As I said, for a “just for fun” shoot, we came home with some good stuff, even if it wasn’t the stuff I was planning to get.

I’m working around the weather, trying to plan a studio-based shoot in the near future.  It’s a case of “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but it should be really cool nonetheless.  Stick around…

Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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