Autumn in Sweden is a dull overcast cold and damp affair as the season changes from glorious Swedish summer to beautiful Swedish winter and aside from a few lovely sunny days when the colours come alive it generally isn't great weather for photography... or is it? I went out to take some portraits yesterday and I figured that the dim light combined with autumn enhanced trees would make for a nice environmental setting to utilise as a backdrop.
In order to make the subjects stand out from the dreary autumn background I took along one of my trusty speedlights, a long pole and a shoot through umbrella. This makes for a very simple outdoor lighting setup but please note that you will need an assistant to help you with that long pole or you could drive yourself insane trying to keep control of the light and camera at the same time. The pull back shot looks like this:
The speedlight is triggered wirelessly in order to free me up to move around with the maximum amount of freedom. I also prefer not to use a tripod for portraits because I always feel like I am restricted rather than aided by the tripod when shooting humans that are moving around and I can't follow them quickly enough to compose as freely as I need or want.
Here are some of the portraits I got with this simple one light setup:
The Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G is just simply an amazing lens rendering the backgrounds beautifully out of focus with an almost creamy texture while keeping the subject sharply in focus and providing splendid isolation of subject and background. It is certainly cementing itself as my favourite portrait lens!
Roll on Swedish winter and photography in the snow!