When my friend Gina asked me to do some engagement photos with her fiancé Nick, I was more than happy to help out. But when our schedules worked out to shooting during peak daylight hours on a Sunday, I was less than enthusiastic about the lighting options, but definitely up for the challenge. My favorite shot of the day was actually shot at high noon. We had found this neat little spot along my favorite creek. While they were in shade, there were still hotspots coming through the tree branches from the bright noon sun above. There was also at least 3 stops of variation between the light out on the creek and the light under the tree.
So the first thing I did was to set a manual exposure for the brightest area, where the unobstructed sunshine hit the creek. Of course, this rendered Gina and Nick as total silhouettes, so to compensate, I broke out the handy Canon Speedlites. I mounted a 430EX II on a light stand with shoot-through umbrella. With the light stand tilted just right, the shoot-through umbrella actually worked as a scrim to block the sunlight through the tree branches that was causing he hotspots. Triggering the 430EX II was a 580EX II mounted on the hotshoe. This provided frontal fill, using a ratio of around 1:4 against the 430. Final editing consisted of taming down the highlights a little in RAW edit, and some desaturation.