Hunter and I couldn't pass up the photo-op when massive snowflakes started falling outside our apartment window on a January afternoon. We stepped outside our building on to a street closed for winter and enjoyed our time learning about snow photography
I shot this series on my Sony A7Rii with the Sony 85mm f1.8 lens. For the backlight I set up my Flashpoint Xplor 600 on a light stand.
- I started by setting my monolight strobe (Flashpoint Xplor 600) directly behind Hunter to both light up the snowflakes as well as to carve out a rim light around his hair and shoulders to make him pop out of the background. The soft, natural light from a gray sky reflected by the snow filled in all the shadows usually seen on a subject's face when shooting in the afternoon.
- We started shooting and I quickly realized that the strobe flash was too distracting unless positioned directly behind the subject, hiding the filament of the stobe. But at then end of a burst of shots this one caught my eye because of the way it simplifies the background and makes the snowfall look even heavier.
- In this shot I wanted to show how cold the shoot was by emphasizing Hunter's breath. I added an on-camera speedlight to compensate for the dimming late afternoon light.
- Whoops on picking too slow a shutter. My strobe supports high-speed sync which could flash properly up to 1/8000th of a second but my old manual speedlight can only sync at 1/200th and for the portrait before this shot I had my camera set to 1/80th.
- For this shot I dimmed the power of the strobe and turned off my speedlight. Hunter loves the backlit look for this shot and it helped accentuate his breath. He also split his board in half on the landing after this shot... I only realized at the end of this shoot that the strobe was giving a harsh line of light on the ground. Next time I'll want to essentially point the strobe directly into the air to light only the snowflakes.
- Simple portrait as a cover photo for Hunter's upcoming website. You can check him out on Instagram at @hunterhill24.