On The Road With Monte; The Yucatan Experience: Seeing The Light—Part 2 Page 2
I noticed how the red costume of our model went so well with the red bike parked in front of the church. I posed her seated on the bike with her profile placed against a dark area of the background. The top of the building across the street was white--a really distracting element in what otherwise was a busy, but fun, picture. I simply selected the top of the building with the Magic Wand tool, grew the selection by a few pixels, and deleted it from the picture. I then placed it on top of a golden sky that I've used countless times before. The sky, the building, and the light on our model all blended so well I didn't have to do anything else to the picture.
On the last day of our Yucatan class we spent most of the time at a neighboring hacienda. What an incredible adventure that was! One of the private bedrooms there had a small window that allowed light to fall onto the bed in such a way that I could pose our model in profile with perfect lighting. I reminded the photographers in the class that when dealing with available light you have to first position the face to create the light pattern that you're looking for. Then, without moving the face, you pose the body to support that angle of the face. Inside a studio environment, of course, it's possible to pose the subject and then move the lights to achieve the light pattern. Get the difference?
Just the day before I had purchased some artificial Mexican flowers (made in China, of course). I didn't know that I'd be using them the very next day. At the hacienda I laid our model down on the floor and positioned the flowers around her. Window light lit the area. To complete the photograph I applied Eddie Tapp's Dream Glow action. It can be downloaded off his website at: www.eddietapp.com. Then, I darkened the edges of the portrait as I've described countless times in previous columns here.
Two Window Technique
Two windows in the hacienda provided all the light that was necessary for this profile. One lit her face. A window behind her lit her hair. My Westcott silver/black reflector (Monte's Illuminator) opened up the shadows on the front of her face. Hopefully by now you're beginning to pick up on the fact that the light pattern on all my portraits is the same everywhere. Sometimes it's more subtle than others, but for the most part the lighting is always the same.
The Yucatan Experience will be repeated again at the beginning of 2007. Watch my website, www.montezucker.com, for details. Michele Gauger, our host for the Yucatan Experience, does many Yucatan classes with other instructors, too. She's also promoting other classes in Guatemala, Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Miami. You can learn more about her programs on her website at: www.michelestudio.com. In the meantime, I hope that you've been able to see the light, learn where to find it, and know what to do with it once you've discovered it.
Monte and Eddie Tapp will be touring the country in October and November, doing
a four-hour extravaganza seminar. It will include lessons on posing and lighting
for formal and casual portraiture, as well as travel and scenic photography.
Eddie will be demonstrating easily adaptable Photoshop techniques to enhance
your photographs and speed your postproduction workflow.
The name of the tour is Imagination to Reality, of course!
Boston - October 29th
Washington DC - October 30th
New York - November 1st
Fort Lee, NJ - November 6th
Philadelphia - November 7th
Seattle - November 12th
Oakland - November 13th
Phoenix - November 15th
(Visit www.zuckertapptour.com for details and to purchase tickets.)