Last week I had a couple of editorial portrait assignments for the latest edition to the Cairns' magazine world - Cairns Life magazine.
Just like the boy scouts I always like to be prepared - and when it comes to photography that usually means being able to light your images.
Often relying on natural light just isn't an option unless you happen to be blessed with some really good luck! And that rarely happens indoors.
So I come armed with a bucket-load of speedlites, light stands, umbrellas, gridspots, snoots, gobos. Lots of paraphernalia that fortunately all fits into one long sausage bag that I can fit over my shoulder.
And I'm always ready to do something dramatic with the image. Tight beams of light, dark backgrounds. Creating contrast where none exists.
And the danger in that is you can let your desire to play with your gadgets take over the purpose of the picture - which is to bring out the inner quality of your subject. As soon as I met Joann Pyne, the Director of the Tropical North Queensland TAFE I immediately knew that her gorgeous outfit and the fabulous artwork on the wall was way better than anything I could artificially create with dramatic lighting.
So this is an homage to great portrait subjects and simplicity in our lighting. One speedlite through a see-through umbrella and the rest natural light. Sometimes we don't need to be fancy to produce flattering portraits. The geek in us hates it but our clients love it.