Eden – Senior Portrait

February 22, 2011



There are several things I’ve always said I would never do. One of those things is to take a female portrait on train tracks. Well I didn’t stick too that plan. A friend had ask me to take her picture for her Senior Portrait (which is a first for me). So I thought to myself, “Challenge Accepted!”.

My first dilemma was location! Unlike a lot of seasoned photographer in the area, I have not really shot much out of the mile radius of my house (365 project). I had remembered a picture from another photographer in the area of a cool bridge. So I hopped on google maps and proceded to look for a railroad bridge and the possible location. A week later a friend and I drove down to the location I had suspected & bingo! Location acquired!

Second dilemma was weather! All we have here in Southern California bright sunshine and in my head I had imagined clouds. It turns out towards the end of the week rain came in. I knew we had to act fast so I scheduled the shoot for that Saturday.

Third delemma was more of hiccup. Once we got to the location there was an official there in a truck. I have no idea if he was a security guard or manager. He kindly asked us to stay off the tracks. I responded with a “why would anyone want to get on the tracks?! that is just crazy!”. Well much to our dismay he decided to stick around to make sure. I made most of the situation and shot several shots around the area. About an hour later it was clear…well sort of. The “Man” was gone, but now the sun was out! Armed with only a Sunpak 120j I knew I was not going to get the shot I wanted. I looked off and saw another set of clouds in the distance but I new it would be a bit longer. Finally the set came in and we were off. We were probably only on the tracks for about 15 minutes, but I got the shots we wanted. I’m so glad we all stuck it out!

As for as editing. Most of it was done in lightroom. Simple curves, added a green tint. Then brought it into photoshop for touchup and a little cloning of elements.

Below you can see the setup and settings I used:

  • John

    “Challenge Accepted” reminds me of Barney Stinson.:D lol

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    exactly how I intended!

  • Jorge

    Fantastic portrait.

  • http://twitter.com/qwik3r Robert Gordon

    You have other flashes that work on TTL correct?, just out of curiosity why the 120j?

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    I dont use TTL strobes. I used the 120J because its more powerful than a speedlight. I wanted to be portable for when a train comes.

  • Filipha

    Oh I see, you trolled yourself :))

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F2AJZAZL4SVUVVCKGPYBH75B7Y A Yahoo! user

    Typo ..”I have no really shot much” (at least you know i read closely) Great shot!! how do you like the sunpak?

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    thanks…I’m not much of a writer :)

    I really like the sunpak…has that extra power but still runs off AA’s

  • http://twitter.com/joshuacreative Joshua Smith

    love this, and thank you for the diagram of your setup. VERY helpful!

    I saw a long while ago some scenic and city shots with a single, very kerned word applied over the top. The images were gorgeous and I wanted to look into using it as a wallpaper for my comp. Are those still hanging around on the net somewhere? Would love a link to them if one exists :)

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    most likely on flickr

  • Matthew Walton

    Awesome job as always! Great work balancing for the clouds…you’re right they really make the picture.

  • http://twitter.com/redskyni Rick Trainor

    The master of composition rules again! Beautiful Ed my eye drifts on forever. I run with a Ranger RX outdoors but it would be a bit of a shifting session to get out of the way and knowing my luck I’d leave the battery pack there to be squashed!

  • http://www.serend1p1tyx.blogspot.com Annie Hall

    looks fantastic! thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.kieranmorgan.com Kieran

    Hey Ed,
    Great post, great photo. I’ve been planning on getting a Softlighter for my SB600, it seems like a great value and I love the light. Do you have to use the Softshoe diffuser kit (which is twice as much) or can you make it work with the standard Softlighter?
    Thanks again.
    (km)

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    I was not even aware of a softshoe diffuser kit. Is that offered for the 47″ softlighter?

  • Kieran

    Yeah, a 46″ anyways.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/690337-REG/Photek_HSD_5000K_Softlighter_Hot_Shoe_Diffuser.html

    I wasn’t sure if this was necessary to make it work properly with the speedlights. Apparently not đŸ˜‰ Seems unecessarily expensive.
    Do you have the 47″?

  • http://www.plainjoephotoblog.com isayx3

    I have the 46″ and the 60″. I used the 46″ for this shot. I guess the 47″ was a typo..i need to go correct that :)

  • http://kieranmorgan.com Kieran

    Cool, I guess I’ll just get the standard one, thanks for the info, love the blog.
    (km)

  • Kim

    Found your blog today, LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Your images are beautiful and you make lighting seem so easy. I shoot natural night, but you make me want to go buy lighting to try new ideas. :)

  • Rio

    beautifull work

    visit my blog : http://rysander85.blogspot.com/

  • Magiakadru

    Great photo!!!

  • Anonymous

    I just wanted you to know I am SUCH a fan of your work. It is so full of life….found you via beautyineverything.com and had to hunt you down! I am a new and aspiring photographer and your work really moves me. And inspires me to LEARN more. And stop being so strong headed. Take a class or two. I know it will help me! As did you….so thank you. Your family is so gorgeous….many continued blessings to you all.

  • Terry Beck

     great shot but why f13 ?

  • Jorstig

    Found your blog today. Fantastic work! Very inspiring with the diagrams and the describing text. When my pictures turns out half as good as yours I will be happy. 

  • Bellsweddings

    did you underexpose the background????

  • http://www.photoblog.dhmart.info/ Photoblog

    Amazing compo and lighting…thanks for sharing your lighting diagram.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandenHarvey Branden Harvey

    There’s a chance this is my all time favorite photo.

  • http://pinkfogphotography.com/senior-portraits/ Senior Pictures

    Hey, great work done by you and your imagination worked for you. Thanks for sharing and showing your work.

  • RP Photography By Design

    Love the photos and the fact your showing us how we can re create the photo