We recently got back after spending a few days at my mom’s place in the country-side. Let me tell you, this is how summers should be spent. Forest in all directions, a lake to swim in, frogs to catch, cats to pet; the little one had a lot of fun the whole time we were there and I think she’s still a bit tired from all the playing she crammed into the days. Personally I didn’t get as much shooting done as I had hoped. However, as far as I’m concerned, just getting the shots I’ll show you today justifies bringing all my gear.
We had been at the lake the evening before and the light was absolutely gorgeous, so it went without saying that I had to shoot something there. The next day I brought all my stuff and set things up. Before shooting we still had something important to do: playing. After splashing around for a good while, we were ready to get down to business.
My first plan was to shoot the muppet on the rock you see in the background (close to the center of the frame) but the bottom around there turned out to be too rocky, so we gave up on that. Instead I settled for this small rock among the reed. Much easier to get to and the tall grass added some rather nice interest to the scene.
The little subject wasn’t really in the mood to shoot so I had to promise her some sweets for when we got back. When her focus started to drift I told her to think of her sweets and just give me a couple more frames. In the end I think I got 9 frames before admitting defeat. Luckily some of them were good and in focus. I love shooting in this kind of light because it really makes things come alive. However, it’s a bit tricky technically. Both you and the camera are basically staring at a bright light source and that makes it difficult to see things clearly. I had to resort to manual focus after a couple of failed attempts. The camera was just having too much trouble in the strong backlight.
Regular readers have probably already guessed at the lighting used for these shots. It’s my regular two LP160s in an octabox to camera right. Simple yet effective in combination with the lovely sun. I’m a big fan of the dramatic look I can get with such a simple setup, some nice ambient light and the high sync speed of the X100S. The resulting photos are some of my new favourites and I wish I could shoot stuff like this all the time.
As much as I love the photos, the best part of last week was probably to see my daughter have so much fun in such a wonderful place. It’s really great to be able to experience some of childhood’s wonders again through her.