© Kevin Nicholson
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Gold Coast Media
After years spent in the studio it’s great getting out and about shooting people outdoors.
Studio shoots are great fun but can also be rather intimidating, so environmental portraiture is probably my favourite way to capture a subject these days. It’s great to be able to use the background and surroundings to tell a story about the subject. Many people can be uncomfortable when you point a camera at them, but being in familiar surroundings puts people more at ease.
I’m more into lighting than cameras. I always take lighting with me on location and it’s very rare that I don’t use it in some form. I use around 20 different light sources for different purposes, varying from giant “fish fryers” for the studio down to little Nikon Speedlights that are great on location. I have a lot of Bowens kit and a generator too. Sometimes a shoot needs nothing but a simple reflector, other times a mixture of flash, daylight, tungsten or whatever ambient light is around. I’m starting to use some continuous lighting now, as the latest camera sensors are so good in low light conditions. The Westacott Ice Lights are interesting. Really useful when space is at a premium, but nowhere near bright enough outdoors.
With all photography, lighting is key. On an average editorial or advertising commission I’d have the Bowens kit, 4 speed lights with transceivers, the Ice Light and a 2.5k tungsten flood. A few shoots, grids, soft boxes and scrims will see my trusty Volvo pretty much packed to the hilt.