Outdoor location shoot
FOR photographers who have a hate and love relationship with natural lighting, outdoor shooting can only go two ways: disaster or perfection. I know the feeling, I’m one of them. Although natural light is still the best light and cannot be perfectly mimicked by artificial light, it can also be a headache when you mix it with your strobe light.
I know and understood it long time ago that mixing natural and artificial light is a recipe for disaster but it’s irresistible not to do it. You know that natural light will change intensity without any warning and suddenly one of your lights source is off the mark while the strobe is not compensating. However, if both natural light and your strobe blended correctly, the result is impeccable.
Marketing’s mantra, location, location and location, can also be applied in photography. Finding the right location is one of the challenging tasks you have to do when shooting outdoors. Finding the right location is already hard enough, getting permission is another story. A photographer friend of mine once told me that if you’re not permitted to shoot, shoot first and ask permission later.
Of course it’s always better if you ask permission first, this way, you can focus on the shoot and worry about other things like making sure to get a good creative shot. When we are not shooting, we are always on a hunt for possible location. When we see one, we would ask permission ahead even if we don’t need a location yet. It can be a good addition to your location list.
Now that you have a location and permission is given, then you have to start asking yourself if you need a power outlet. Is there a spot where you can use as base camp? A spot that is safe for your equipment in terms of weather and security. What about food and refreshment and access to water. All these and more needs are to be considered before the shoot day.
It’s a little bit tricky when it comes to equipment. You don’t want to bring too much because it would be difficult to manage them, but you also want to make sure that you got all the equipment you need and few extra ones that might come handy during the shoot. No right or wrong here, I normally just bring what I can.
Shooting out of the comforts of a studio can be messy but working with organic elements in the scene can be inspiring. It wakes up your creative brain and interacts with outdoor imperfections, making your shot more natural. Keep on shooting, everyone!