Using the Great Outdoors as a Studio

by | Apr 25, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

For much of the year I shoot most of my portraits either in my home studio or an outdoor location that’s close by. So maybe I’m lazy too. Living in Colorado, it gets cold during the winter and it occasionally snows, like today as I write this, sometimes there’s lots of snow. If I lived in my wife’s home state of Florida I’d have a different way of choosing locations for shooting.

After all, portraits, no matter where you make them, are all about light, so start by searching for places where the light looks good. This portrait, for example, was made in a friend’s backyard.

Backlighting is always a great technique for outdoor portraits but you’ll need to use flash, in this case an EX580 speedlite, to provide fill so the model’s face is well illuminated.

The camera I used for the image of Farrin at left was my old Canon EOS 1D Mark II with the versatile EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 105mm.) Exposure was 1/250 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 200 with a minus one-third stop exposure compensation. The Canon EX 580 speedlight was used with a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce diffuser to soften the light.



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If you’re interested in shooting portraits and learning how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio or on location, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere that’s available from with, as I write this, new copies selling for $29.78. As I write this, used copies are selling from $7.55, which is a heckuva deal for all the useful information that’s found in the book..