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Achievement in Originality
Peer Award
Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Top Choice
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Magnificent Capture
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Superior Skill
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All Star
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2 Comments | Report
NickBelial PRO+
NickBelial Feb 25
Very cool shot. Love the use of soft colors and shallow depth of field here.
lambros_loco Feb 25
Gorgeous shot

Behind The Lens

This is in Pisgah Forest in North Carolina. There is an access point into the wooded area from near where I live, off a fairly unknown hiking trail. I'll go back in the woods to hike and scope out different locations to shoot short films and photos. With all of the foliage there are plenty of private areas to shoot at any time of year.
This was shot right as the sun had started being hidden behind the trees, around 5pm. We had started to get that orange tone and lost the harsh brightness when the sun shone overhead. The woods cooled in tone, offering great contrast with the orange sun.
This was lit with natural light. It was slightly overcast so we had great diffusion of the sunlight for most of the day. With the sun going behind the trees the foliage acted as a filter of sorts, and the woods took on the moody lit tone we were going for.
On all shoots I use my Nikon d850 as my main camera, though I bring along my d810 as a backup. For this shot I used the d850 with an 85mm nikkor lens handheld. This entire shoot was just handheld for convenience, and we only switched between the 85 and the 35 throughout the day.
Throughout the shoot the model and I were just messing around with tone and mood, trying to find out what worked best. We found a fallen, rotting log during our trek through the woods and started to shoot around it. When the sun went down the lighting changed, giving us a moody setup. With that in mind we began to shoot facial expressions and poses that fit with a moody vibe. After a while of experimentation I suggested a pose from one shot with the expression of another, and that was how we found this shot.
The original shot was darker than I wanted it to be, so I had to brighten the image a bit. I wanted to retain the mood though, so I selectively brightened different areas at varying amounts to find a balance of visibility and mood that I felt fit the image the best. Beyond that I just played a bit more with the colors and added a mild lens flare to boost up the effect the sun had and add a bit more tonal contrast to the overall image.
In my camera bag
I'll always have my Nikon D850 with me, it's survived all sorts of conditions and still takes amazing photos. I'll also have my barbershop quartet of lenses: 35, 50, 85, 105, all Nikkor. While I haven't used the 50mm in photoshoots for a quite a long time, it's still great when shooting film. During photoshoots it just relaxes in the bag and provides moral support. I'll also carry a flashlight and a few light painting tools. I don't usually use flash as I'm mainly a natural light photographer and honestly just haven't figured flash out yet, so lightbars and diffusers help add some extra oomph when needed. They also make for fun effects when the sun goes down.
If you have the time and patience, play around! I come from a film and visual effects background, so I'm used to capturing as much as I can and taking the best from the lot, or even creating something by combining an amount of material that would make Frankenstein blush. My comfort zone is behind the screen, and the more I have to work with the more I feel I can do. So capture everything you can and don't be afraid to play around. Sometimes you have no idea what shot could be THE shot until you see the pieces fall together on screen.

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