How often do you import your images onto your computer and find yourself disappointed with how different your images look from your initial conceptualization?

In our latest workshop, ‘From Shoot to Post’, we delve into every possible scenario and how to combat bad lighting, scenes, and external variables to ensure you have a flawless shoot. This workshop is coming soon to SLR Lounge Premium so make sure you upgrade now to get exclusive access!

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So how do we set ourselves up for success from the initial shot to the final click in post-production?


don’t find an excuse, find a solution

The most commonly used excuse in the book is to blame the weather or lack of sun for getting mediocre shots. We say, poppycock. With a strong understanding of light direction and color you can achieve golden hour with a few pocket strobes. It’s all a matter of preparation. Recently, I had an engagement session up north in Muir Woods, and of course, San Francisco’s notorious weather conditions provided me with a gloom doom with faint light peeping through the trees.

We learn in Photography 101 that regardless of the situation, there is always a light direction, it’s just a matter of using the hand test and figuring out where that light is coming from and placing your subjects accordingly to avoid any harsh shadows and bright highlights on their skin.

RECREATING Natural light sun flare

I saw this log above the stream as the perfect environmental portrait spot for my couple, and before placing them there I made sure to check the direction of light relative to my position to the subjects. What I saw was a pocket of light coming through the tops of the trees that would essentially act as a rim light to separate my subjects from the background.


I’m sure many of you have seen our tutorial on recreating golden hour with the reliable Profoto B1, but in this case I would need a helicopter and maybe 3 B1’s to achieve the power necessary.

This is where intention comes in play: the SLRL Preset system comes built with local adjustment brushes designed to alleviate the strain and challenges thrown at photographers. To create the image on the left we used this recipe:

  • 11a Soft Color + 41 Sun Flare local adjustment over the highlight

With a quick drop of our Sun Flare Brush we were able to vamp up the scene and add a bit of life to the light. The beautiful part about the brush is that it’s adjustable to your liking and you can tone down the increments or decrease the size of the spot itself.

The final product wouldn’t have been possible without initially exposing to maximize dynamic range within the scene.¬†You can see more examples of how to envision a shot before you even take it and make sure that your post-processing enhances your photos in our upcoming workshop From Shoot to Post, coming very soon to SLRL Premium.

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