Portraits at the Park

Model: Alessia, Milan
Davide Fiammenghi
May 2020

Most of us had a period of forced isolation due to the national emergency, I had to postpone any collaboration with models to a later date. On the various social networks I have seen achieving awesome ideas such as telematic shooting, post production of cell phones photography and various portraits with surgical masks, as if we were not already sick of seeing masked faces. I preferred to suspend the production and wait for better times.

House arrest was not a waste of time. I used the much free time available to study flash lighting diagrams both in studio, and in combination with sunlight. I became quite skilled at photographing myself with the camera on a tripod through remote shutter release.

With the gradual reopening in late May, I succeeded to meet Alessia, with whom we were postponing our portrait session from winter.

As set, I chose a grove in which the leaves illuminated by the golden light of the late afternoon were the background, with the model in the shade of the trees under which only little grass grew, so that the shadows did not turn greenish. The main and the fill lights consist of two flashes in octaboxes, arranged in an open loop diagram, plus a third flash with a 7″ reflector to lighten the shadow under the chin. In outdoor photos I like that in the eyes you can see two smaller catchlights, besides that of the main light.

The power of the fill light has been set to -1 ⅓ EV (ratio 7.1: 1) and that of the 7″ reflector to -2 ⅔ EV (ratio 6,3:1), I find out that this combination in the outdoors gives a natural effect. I thought it advisable not to change the color temperature of the flashes with amber correction filters because I knew I could obtain a more accurate result by white balance in post production, applying a layer mask to the model.

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