Barnet Workshops » Sharing Experience, Information, Inspiration

Our last Samy’s workshop was a blast!

What a great crowd! No one wanted to go home… At least we didn’t. We had a group of 24 photographers eager to learn, improve their art and their profits.
After the business part of the program (contracts, pricing, networking, marketing, etc), guest speaker Kelly Aguilar, the Chic Geek, talked to us about marketing with social media. Then after a short break we covered photo gear and we went shooting.
Here are a few of the images we made at the railroad tracks next to the store at Bristol and Alton. The area doesn’t look like much, but that’s the perfect place to make something great in an ordinary location.  We tried to show as many different outdoor environments, poses, lighting challenges, etc. in a limited time.  Because of this, we can’t take the time to fine tune each image as we would during a client’s portrait session.  We used Nikon D3’s, one with a 70-200 VR 2.8 and the other with a 24-70 2.8.  A big thanks to those brave students that agreed to pose for us!

In this image of Jeni sitting on the railroad tracks, the sun was directly behind her and a white reflector was used to fill in her face.  f 3.2 for shallow depth of field @ 1/800 with 200 ISO. Almost all images were made with matrix metering and some exposure compensation.  This one is -1/3.  Sometimes it’s too bright to see the image in the back of the camera, so just make sure the histogram looks good.  All images were retouched by Mirta using Photoshop CS4 tools and Kevin Kubota actions.

I often bring a very expensive optical device that allows me to see the monitor on the back of the camera on a sunny day.  It keeps the sunlight off the monitor as I check it.  It’s called the TPRC and it’s available from several manufacturers: Northern, Charmin, Nice & Soft and a few others.  Oh yes, TPRC= toilet paper roll core…


This is a great way to bring your own shade with you, inexpensive compact and easy to set up.  We eventually moved the assistant to the other side to hold the panel.


Reflector for fill light. If it’s sunny don’t use the silver or gold side… Too harsh and uncomfortable for your subject(s).


Here’s Carolina with the set-up above.  She looks great… Except she’s holding a Canon… Well, no one’s perfect… f 3.2 @ 1/640 with 250 ISO Spot meter with no compensation.  70-200 at 135mm.


Now we’re using the big cement power pole for shade with a white reflector as the main light.  The angle of the camera controls the background.


I know Jennifer was not very comfortable sitting on the rail all twisted like that, but her great smile won’t give that away!  f 3.2 @ 1/1600 with 250 ISO and -1/3 comp. Spot metering. 70-200 at 150mm.


This was the set-up for the next two images and the first one of this post.  Sun directly at the back of the subject (it was about 1:30 pm) and a white reflector for fill. You can use flash fill in this situation if you don’t have a reflector or an assistant… Not as pretty, but it’s better than nothing…


Low angle, 70-200 @ 160 mm . f/ 3.2 @ 1000 with 200 ISO. Matrix metering w/-2/3 compensation. The exposure for the next image and the first one of the post is pretty much the same.


Same exposure as above.  70-200 at 190 mm. Matrix with -1/3 compensation.  Pretty low angle here.  The image below is the uncorrected file.  We shoot RAW by the way. The following one was corrected in Lightroom, then taken to Photoshop and our basic retouching was done, Mirta also opened the mouth a little and took the highlight off the wrist.  She used Creamsickle and a little Digi Fill Flash on this image.  Both Kubota actions.



Here’s the set up again.  Someone’s holding a white reflector off camera.  I shot the following two images from the other side of the hedge at the left, and the green covered wall to the right was the background.  Both with the 70-200


Here’s Manda with a little highlight in her hair.  That’s from moving the translucent panel just enough to let in a little light.  An assistant is always better than a stand. the background looks nice and soft from the 2.8 f/ stop and the long lens, 70-200 @ 180 mm. 1/250 and +1/3  compensation, ISO 320 Metrix metering.


This was f/2.8 at 1/320 +1/3 compensation. 70-200 @ 120 mm.


Another very nice way to shoot a couple, there are many variations to this pose.  Open shade with reflected fill from the cement in front of the subjects.  ISO 500 f/3.5 @ 1/500 Matrix metering with -1/3 compensation. 70-200 @ 130 mm.  I just realized that all the images that made it into the post were made with the 70-200, my favorite lens.


Here’s the crew!  What a great group.  Thank you all for a terrific day!  Some of you will be joining us at our full day workshop on Memorial Day at Rancho Las Lomas.  We can’t wait to see you there!  Mirta and I sincerely hope you all keep in touch!!

If you enjoyed my brain droppings and our images please leave us a comment!  We’ll also post in FaceBook, so stop by and Tag yourselves!!


  • April 6, 2010 - 9:57 pm

    Paulo Jordao - Wow… fantastic job. I like the fact that you wrote the camera setings.ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2010 - 5:56 pm

    Manda - I look FABULOUS in these photos!!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2010 - 5:57 pm

    Manda - This photo looks so natural- like this strange man and I are really together! great photo!ReplyCancel

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