Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Technique Tuesday: Big Light and Long Lenses For Beautiful Portraits

Good Morning Everybody,

The third leg of our CBTL tour got off to a great start in Denver last night. The crowd was fired up and the program went off without a hitch.  I even almost finished on time ;~)

0027Grant Oakes, a buddy of ours from Denver stopped by to help in the back of the room.  Grant, who is not only a very talented photographer, also operates Tafota.com, one of the easiest “design it yourself” websites on the market [link]. 


Grant was gracious enough to shoot a few photos of the show. We had a great crowd, lots of excitement, and everybody loved “Door Prize Time”.

Big Light and Long lenses For Beautiful Portraits

Hey gang, ready for another Technique Tuesday? I’ve got a good one for you today. It’s about beautiful portraits, lighting, and composition.  My 1-light lighting techniques I’m showing today are super simple to put into use. This video was produced in our Denver hotel room so please excuse the slight compromise in our normally outstanding production value ;~)

There are many times when your shooting location may not give you the best options for capturing beautiful portraits. That was not the case at Saturday's wedding. We were working in a beautiful, well appointed home that offered many fabulous locations to shoot.

I chose the large bay window as my background for many of the family shots. It offered a clear, unobstructed view of the beautiful exterior foliage which I rendered much lighter with my lighting and exposure combinations.

My main challenge was to keep the reflection of my shoot throw Zumbrella from showing up on any of the window’s very reflective surfaces. Once we had that under control, the rest was easy.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was shooting with my 7 foot monster umbrella -  reflections could have been a major problem. I wanted to take the chance because of the very soft quality of light the large umbrella afforded the shoot.

The next challenge was to frame up the subjects against the bay window so that it made for the best background for the photographs. That meant the use of a much longer focal length lens.

Everything came together very well for the pre-wedding photography session. Why not hit the PLAY button below and enjoy the show and see how I pulled it off.


Hey everybody, That's it for me today. The bags are packed and we head to Kansas City in a short while. It's about a 8-9 hour drive, but like I’ve said, it's a wonderful way to see the country.

Have a great one and I'll see you tomorrow for another episode of "The One That Got Away".

Kansas City Barbecue - here we come ;~)



  1. A suggestion from a Denver attendee for future CBTL venues: Have LaDawn buy a kitchen timer to clip to David's belt so that the 10-minute breaks don't last for 25 minutes.

    The CBTL Denver presentation was great value for the information presented and time spent. I encourage anyone interested in photography to attend.

  2. Loved the seminar in Denver last night. Lots of great information. The door prizes were awesome. Met some great people there too! Thanks Dave & LaDawn! Great job!

  3. I attended David's workshop last year in Buffalo, NY and man it was awesome! Love the fact that he stuck around longer so he could give more info. Awesome person, awesome photographer.

  4. A terrific presentation. I learn so much from your tours, your Blog, videos on Kelby Training, and your new book (I cannot wait to see the new book you are working on now!). I am looking forward to your upcoming week-long Master Class.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge with the rest of the community!