01. Introduction & Bluebell Woods

Master different techniques for portraiture using only natural light and your camera. That includes single subjects, couples, kids and family/group photo shoots. You will learn how to find the right scenes, what light is best and figuring when is the best time to shoot.

This chapter covers a fantastic outdoor portrait shoot in a stunning location – Beautiful locations can sometimes be extremely tricky to shoot as they can be quite busy which can make it difficult to keep the focus on your model. What should you keep in mind when shooting these types of shots? Karl takes you with him on this shoot to Bluebell woods and shows you how to isolate your model in such busy surroundings by trying out different poses to show you what works and what doesn’t.


  1. Whats the slowest shutter speed you find you can get away with hand holding the camera without camera shake blur in the image? I usually find I have problems if slower than 1/800 sec but I am rather shaky as well. I suppose I just need to practice being more steady but I just hate to risk losing a great shot and often sacrifice ISO to shoot at around 1/1000 to be certain.

    1. Hi Jason, this will always depend on your focal length. In the Travel and Landscape course you will see me shooting handheld at 1/8th and 1/15th with a 16mm lens but this would not be possible on a 200mm lens, my general rule is don’t go lower with the shutter speed than the focal length such 1/200th with 200mm but that’s me being practised in shooting very still and composed. 1/800th should be absolutely fine on a 200mm lens?

  2. Did you use the daylight white balance because of the shadows/shades from the trees or you used it because your are shooting with the sun as your lighting?

    1. Hi Laurenta, primarily because it was sunlight but to be honest as I’m shooting in RAW I know the colour temperature can easily be adjusted later.

  3. This is not the first online course about photography i do. I enjoy watching you but i have the same problem that i have with all the other tutorial.
    You guys have to know that people who buy this kind of tutorial usually don’t have a full frame camera or a 1.500$ lens. We or I have a camera with APS-C sensor and a “normal” lens.
    So just for once i would like to see a tutorial when professors use this kind on equipment. Otherwise it is just sad to watching this.
    Maybe in a future, i hope to buy a 70-200 2.8 lens. But now its imposible for me.
    I hope you understand my point. My english is limit.

    1. Hi César,

      You make a good point. I am lucky enough to have both a full frame and 70-200mm. Although, I find the tips on composition (framing the shot, keeping trees and obstacles away from the subject, and learning how to use the backlighting, much more valuable than the shots that were taken with a full frame and 70-200 lens. The tips here should be applicable to any DSLR camera and most lenses.

    1. Hi Stephen, I know many photographers who are and it looks useful but to be honest I just haven’t got into the habit of trying it to see if I like it. As most of my work is product photography in the studio I’m often focusing in manual.


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