10 Ways to Photograph the Same Scene with Lighting and Camera Setups

What do you do when you’re short on time, but your client wants a number of unique images to choose from? Get creative! This wonderful video from SLR Lounge shares amazing insight into how you can set up your artificial light, combine it with the ambient lighting, and use your experience with different lenses, composition techniques, and camera settings to create ten completely different images of the same couple and the same scene:

1. Hero Shot

Pye Jirsa begins the session with the hero shot. This is the shot that was to set the tone for the rest of the shots to come. Just as they were placing the couple at their position, dense fog rolled in. For this shot, Jirsa placed a Profoto B2 just behind the couple for subtle edge lighting against the fog.

ten different images of the same scene

Jirsa used high speed sync so that a fast shutter speed could be achieved. White balance was set at 5100 degrees Kelvin. This particular shot was made at full power on the Profoto B2.

2a. Darkened Ambient Light

The next shot was taken by powering up the flash and then using a fast shutter speed to darken the ambient light. In camera white balance was set to 6000 degrees Kelvin.

darkened ambient light

2b. High Resolution Panorama

Using the same settings as above, Jirsa shot two extra frames on either side of the main frame with the couple. These frames were then stitched together to create an ultra-high resolution image that captured the whole scene.

high resolution panorama

The B2 firing behind the couple creates a nice highlight and contrast that draws the attention toward the center of the image.

3. Silhouette


For this shot the Profoto B2 was dialed down to about one-quarter power to create a darker image with a nice silhouette.

4. Framing

framing a portrait

For this shot, Jirsa moved several hundred feet away from the scene and framed the shot using a tree. In camera white balance was dialed to 6000 degrees Kelvin, and he shot with natural light.

ten different images of the same scene

A spin-off of shot 4 with the 70-200mm lens at 70mm created yet another look.

5. Warm Temperature

warm temperature

Just about this time, the sun broke through the fog and the entire scene turned orange. Jirsa dialed down the in-camera white balance to 5800 degrees Kelvin. He used the Profoto B2 as the backlight (fired at one quarter power) and captured this shot using a 35mm lens.

6. Zoomed Backlight

zoomed backlight

He took the next shot with the same settings, but used the 70–200mm lens set to about 80mm.

7a. Backlight

backlit wedding portrait

This image was shot from across the valley at 70mm using the 70–200mm and the Profoto B2 acting as the backlight for the shot. The B2 was set to about one-quarter power for this shot.

7b. Zoomed

zoomed in portrait

Here is the same setup zoomed in at 200mm. This achieved a bit more compression against the background.

8. High Key

high key outdoor portrait

For shot # 8 of the session a slightly brighter result was achieved using the above settings while pulling down the flash power to 1/8.

9. Low Angle Contrast

low angle contrast couple

This shot was made from a very low angle so that the couple could be framed right in front of the sun. The aim was to create a very contrasty and silhouetted look.

10. Close Range Flash

For this shot, Jirsa had an assistant hand-hold a half power B2 in front of the couple. The assistant was healed out of the final image during post-processing.

creative quick wedding photography

And the most astonishing thing about these images and their breathtaking final results is that they were all shot in a span of just twenty minutes!

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One response to “10 Ways to Photograph the Same Scene with Lighting and Camera Setups”

  1. Wendy says:

    Y’know, the point of this video may be “everyone can use these techniques,” but the message I get is “Some photographers get the lucky breaks.” Sure, it was a 20-min shoot, but those 20 min included two dramatically different lighting situations. And such a . . . useful rock–I can’t think of anything in my area (rolling hills full of power poles, monotonous croplands, and fairly uniform woodlands) that would offer so many clutter-free angles to shoot from.

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