As one naturally would, when you travel to the lush, voluptuous greenery, mists, wildlife, and serenity of the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica, camera in hand, those beautiful things are foremost in your mind. Understandable. On our recent foray to the land of Pura Vida, we encountered the natural world in all of its vibrancy–jungles, creatures, birds aloft, and landscapes. But we also photographed the landscape of the human face, and explored the lighting thereof. We had a variety of wonderful dancers and portrait subjects in front of our lenses.
We went from photographing one group of professional models on the tropical beachfront at Alma del Pacifico to another group in the misty mountains. In the Cloud Forest, we stayed at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, routinely rated as one of the top eco-resorts in Central America.
At El Silencio, locations for portraiture were as plentiful as the trees and flowers that adorn the expansive property.
Huge thanks go out to Profoto, who helped with gear for our participants. Tamara Lackey and I were able to introduce all to the wondrous possibilities of portraiture. We worked largely with the A2 units, small, light and they pack a 100ws punch. Combine them with the ProClic softboxes, and the magnet system of light shapers and gels, and you have a seamless, incredibly simple and adaptable way of lighting anything, in particular, the human face.
I had a quick minute with a camera and showed the notion of closeness of light source to the subject to the group. This is a small ProClic softbox, but, moved super close to our model’s face, it plays like it is potentially a bigger, softer source.
Thanks galore here, as we still bask in the glow of our amazing Costa Rica trip. First to my dear friend and fellow instructor, Tamara Lackey, who infuses her teaching with humanity and an ebullient spirit. And to Annie Cahill, who immaculately produced this intricate, “lots of moving parts” workshop and made it look easy. Our Jacamar guides were astonishing, as was the staff of El Silencio.
And to Jairo Rojas of RedWolf Media, who is a wonderful Costa Rican photog who helped all of us at every turn. Thanks to Steve Lackey, who was always there to lift, pull, haul, help and also did an amazing job shooting BTS photos, many of which are above. And finally, heartfelt thanks to all our participants who worked hard, pushed themselves, and got great pics as a result!
Till next time, Costa Rica. Pura Vida!