How to Create Dramatic Photography in an Unusual Location

Creating dramatic photography in an unusual location is a good exercise for photographers who are hoping to build their skills. In most cases, the stranger the location, the more difficult photographing can be. The lighting can be tricky and you may have to learn to get comfortable in all sorts of environments. On a recent fashion shoot, photographer Aaron Nace scouted out the perfect location for the shoot, but it just so happened to be on a very tall ledge which made things tricky right from the start. Luckily, Nace overcame the obstacles to create some great images and he shares is insight with us in the video below:

For the shoot, Nace chose to work with 50-50 lighting, meaning half of the light comes from a soft box and the other half comes from natural light. The softbox, which housed an Einstein strobe that was set at half power, brightened up some of the shadows left on the model from the natural light. In the two photos below, you can see what an impact the diffused strobe has.

Without the softbox the shadows are very strong and distracting.

Without the softbox the shadows are very strong and distracting.

Even set at just half power, the strobe evens out the contrast.

Even set at just half power, the strobe evens out the contrast.

Nace emphasizes that it is important to find balance in the output of the softbox because if the light is too strong the photograph will look too lit and artificial. Contrarily, if it is not enough, then the shadows will overtake the picture.

“You want to balance. Half of the light coming from the ambient and the other half coming from the softbox. It should look like we did not use a softbox at all. It should look very natural, that is if we do it correctly.”

He also advises to use a loupe to discern if the photographs are good or not, especially since it becomes very difficult to identify what the photographs look like in a sunny setting. It helps you “not see the glare or anything like that,” Nace explains. “It may seem like a silly accessory, but it really helps when you are shooting outdoors.”

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5 responses to “How to Create Dramatic Photography in an Unusual Location”

  1. nkiruka joy says:

    Its a wonderful sight

  2. nkiruka joy says:

    indeed a great lesson

  3. Brian says:

    Question: Is he talking about using a loupe to examine the photo on the camera’s LED screen?


  4. leon says:

    what effects has been applied to the final image is this a cross process?

  5. Jeroen says:

    Great tutorial and result!

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