I met Shantal and Marco last Thursday for a shoot in Mdina, and even though 3pm was not the ideal time for a portrait session, I did not hesitate to do this shoot. The golden hour lighting is hyped up, mind you I love golden hour lighting, but give me harsh lighting and shadows and then I will play!
Shantal and Marco were amazing though. The moment we met, we did not stop chatting and the more we got to know one another the more they fed my creativity. I must say that this was a shoot where three people collaborated effortlessly and the lighting made it all the more fun and dynamic.
Shantal is an Indian cardiologist working in Washington DC, and Marco is a German psychiatrist working in Berlin. They met last February in Berlin and decided to take a vacation in Malta in order to get to know one another better. I happened to be their photographer assigned for their portrait shoot from 'Shoot My Travel' website, and voila, it couldn't have worked out any better!
But let's get back to lighting. The harsh sunlight can be mean to work with right? Making your subject squint, sweat and generally get odd shadows on their faces. All correct. However if you use sunlight to your advantage and then play with the shadow areas to frame and play around your subjects, then you are in for a surprise! You can even use sunlight like one would use stage lighting as seen in the image below.
Technically shoot under exposed in order to be able to gain your highlights back in post processing. ISO leave it at 100 and if need be open or close the aperture to get the right exposure. When shooting in such contrasting light, one mainly always needs to post process the images in order to achieve the vision one had whilst one was shooting. Don't be scared of harsh lighting! In Malta we get this type of lighting all year round, and even though it can get too hot to shoot at such timings, the results can be worth your while!
Gear: Canon 5D MKIII with a 35mm Canon lens and sometimes an 85mm Sigma Art Lens.
The full set here