So this past Saturday, while celebrating my birthday, I decided to photograph my son and daughter, along with a friend of ours. The day was sunny, the sky was blue, and I planned to leave at the perfect time to get some later afternoon sun at Barnegat Lighthouse.
By the time we got there, however, a thick fog had rolled in, making the light somewhat flat, and obscuring the backgrounds. So I changed my plan a little bit. The fog suddenly became an excellent background, and the soft, even lighting suited itself well to a different style of portraiture than I had originally intended.
Using my 5D Mark II, and my EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens, I decided to use the shallow depth of field that lens is capable of and just grab a few shots with a simple look to them. I used a reflector at camera-right to kick light into my subjects’ eyes, and create
those nice catch lights.
This kind of thing is a common problem with location portraiture. You can never count on the light. I didn’t plan this shoot, or I might have used wireless speedlites to create the light I wanted. But being flexible in your plans, with the ability to use different styles, gives you the ability to make pictures no matter the light. That’s what separates the pros from the wannabes.