Cowboy and Western Lifestyle Advertising Photographer, Steve Thornton
Advertising and Editorial Western Lifestyle Photography
Brand Image Consultant


This advertising photo, one in a series, was shot in Colorado near the resort towns of Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado for a Western Resort client. Technically speaking this is a very challenging image. Having to balance the sky light with the very weak light both from the fire and the lanterns means you wait until they are about the same intensity. This normally occurs about 30-50 minutes after sunset (this depends on atmospheric conditions) and the illumination "balance" only lasts 10-12 minutes. So my crew spent 3 hours filling the lanterns, cleaning all the globes, setting up the lights, styling the location, building the fire, in the right location and after moving the huge pile of cut wood that was in perfectly in the way and because it rained all day was wet. Fortunately I had a gallon of liquid paraffin which was poured on the logs & I also had a fire starter log. When the light was almost right, my crew was running around adjusting & repositioning the lights to my needs. Then the 2 great, properly styled, lifestyle models were put into position & I shot very quickly. First the light is fleeting & because I need as much light on them as I can get they are a little too close to the fire for their comfort. I also changed my position several times to get different angles so my client could have a range of choices and looks. 20 minutes later we were done and my client had several shots he liked.

This image was shot with a Canon professional digital camera set on 800 ISO, 1/5 second exposure, using a 16mm - 35mm f2.8 lens @ f2.8 then processed using Photoshop CS3 and using the Adobe RAW converter. A special noise reduction software was used to remove the noise inherent with high ISO settings.

If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Non commercial educational use is permitted without charge, but please ask first. Any and all commercial use is available but only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!


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