Scout locations for more interesting portraits

Austin, recruited to be our model, posed with a surfboard. A snooted Speedlight on the left completed this image

Locations account for a lot of the feel and mood of a portrait.

That’s why time spent location scouting is always worthwhile.

I keep a digital notebook/ folder on my computer of images filled with promising or  interesting locations.

Within this folder are images I capture with my cellphone when I’m out and about.

I usually grab a picture of the closest road sign showing the intersection so I can retrace my steps and find the place again months or years later.

I usually include some notes like “picture taken facing north etc”  and where the sun might be in the evening or morning.

With the internet, Google’s Street View and Google Earth, location scouting has become a lot easier.

The downside?

Choice places to shoot are fast becoming crowded or harder to find.

Does that mean you ought to keep some of these places secret?

To some extent, yes.

I don’t feel it’s being selfish, but I wouldn’t want a good location to be teeming with hordes of photographers when I want to shoot.

Or do I want everyone else’s pictures to look like mine.

As more and more people get into photography, it’s inevitable that choice locations will be more difficult to have to yourself.

What I hope will differentiate my picture from theirs is possibly the time I chose to shoot and the way I lit mine?

I shot my picture using a snooted-Speedlight set at 1/32th power on the left.

My Canon 40D with my 100 mm lens was set at  ISO 100, 1/200 sec @f11.

I had been in position to shoot by 5:45 p but the light was just getting good by the time I took this picture 6:36 pm, a few minutes before sunset.

Peter Phun Photography

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