A Photo A Day Project – Portraits in a paddock.

Day 6: Today I know I want to take portraits. I know where, I know when, I know who. I now have to wait as this shoot can only happen after 3pm. My first day with a plan 😉

We are in constant awe of how kind the winter weather is being to us, it’s almost perfect. Temperature is in double digits, sun is blazing, not a cloud in the sky and barely a breath of wind. If this weather lasts all day I am sure that my field of golden grass, that I scoped out the other day, is going to make the perfect scene for a late afternoon portrait session.

At 3pm I go and find the girls who are playing nicely together and tell them I don’t want them to stop playing, just to relocate to the back paddock and sit amongst the grass and play. They ask how long it will take and tell me they are ‘starving’ to which I reply, “at 4pm the sun will be behind that mountain and I won’t have the lighting I’m wanting. So worst case scenario I want you to play together, where I put you, for 1 hour and then we will go inside and have a treat!” It’s the promise of a treat that seals the deal.


The session starts with my ‘fly on the wall’ approach where I ask the girls to ignore me and continue doing what they are doing. I like to sit and observe them interacting and  I shoot a series of candid portraits. I then offer a little more direction and capture them walking through the grass together.

I have become a little obsessed with sunflare and back lighting my portraits lately. I love the soft hazy light you get when shooting into the sun and the flare itself I like to use artistically to help highlight my ‘subject’.

I don’t have long now as the sun will be behind that hill in no time. In order to achieve the ‘sunflare’ or ‘lensflare’ I’m after I need to shoot into the sun and the exact angle determines just how much flare I get and how much haze appears in my image. I want the flare to act as a spotlight shining down on them. I love the light, I love the scene, I love the shot. Mission Accomplished 🙂 My camera settings for the image below are: ISO 640; f4; 1/1250th Canon 100mm 2.8L macro lens. Sheryn-Ellis_APAD_d6_July2013_blog1


I could shoot at this location every day – it’s beautiful.

Live. Love. Learn.

Sheryn Ellis, Portrait Photographer.