Surfing barren lands – Creative Portrait Photography

Our shot of the week this week comes from Fashion photographer David Kutcher. I think this image is a great example of the importance of having an idea before shooting. Since he put this image together after the shoot in post production if there wasn’t a clear vision before this would have never turned out the way it did. In order to get the shot just right lighting had to be in line with his vision for the final image. He does some really creative work, check out more of his portfolio online at:

Surfing barren lands:
I was asked if I was interested in shooting a surf story. Of course I said and then the ideas started. I first started thinking of shooting in the water and on the beach but it then struck me as “surfing at the beach well thats a given right?” we see great images of that everyday. I wanted to take it beyond just surfing. So I started thinking about alternative environments as well as what is surfing. It’s not just an activity but for many surfers a way of life. I then focused on the word life. What would a surfers life be without water? Where would they surf? Hence this series of images.

I knew that it would be close to impossible to shoot this on location and get what I wanted so I decided to search for the backgrounds, studied the light on the background and then light my subject. I found all the pieces that I need to make the image that I saw in my head come to life.

Tech info:
Mamiya 645 AFD
Leaf Aptus 22
120mm lens
ISO 50
F 11@1/60

2 Profoto 2400 packs
On each side one head with silver reflector
Front softbox
top light with silver reflector

Check out some more of David’s work here:

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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