Perfect natural lighting for photography can be like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. If you see it coming, however, you better wait for it. At least that’s the way Terry Blain of Terry Blain Master Photography, Carlisle, Pa., approached this award-winning shot.
Entitled Village Smithy, Blain says she saw opportunity with this scene she found in Eckley Miners’ Village and decided to wait around for that picture-perfect moment. And when it arrived it was perfect indeed.
“I was watching and waiting for the lighting to change as the sun went down and had my strobe light set up to fill in a little bit. I just knew in my gut by the way the sun was going down that I had something there and that I had better stick around and photograph it,” says Blain. “I came home and looked at the image and loved it because it was unique and different.”
Judges at the annual Professional Photographers Association of Pennsylvania thought so too, awarding the print with the LexJet Sunset Award, Best Portrait of a Man, Kodak Gallery Award and Best of Show. Blain was also named Image Maker of the Year.
This print and a number of others were also sent to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) where Blain received enough merits to earn her Master of Photography, which will she’ll receive in January in Atlanta. “I kept this image under wrap and key because I didn’t want anyone to do anything like it,” she adds.
Though Village Smithy has an HDR-like look to it, Blain did not use HDR. The scene is seen basically as it is, with the setting sun lighting the room from the left and a strobe fill from the right.
Blain knows something about lighting since her studio, tucked away in a natural setting, specializes in outdoor portraiture. The setting, says Blain, allows people to be more relaxed and better capture their personalities and relationships.