Anyone shooting portraits using natural light?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by adamsfour, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. adamsfour

    adamsfour TPF Noob!

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    I am taking a lot of photos outside using natural light. My son has blonde hair and it GLOWS on camera. He comes out reflective. I have started playing with the White Balance settings and sometimes using the presets of "shade" or "cloudy", he comes out a little too warm.
    I met a photographer who suggested playing with the Kelvin temperature settings but I am still having a hard time warming him up without going overboard.
    Today we went out and it was very overcast, but bright. I went back over the photos and he has a blue glow and is very washed out in the photos I used the Auto White Balance. I was in manual mode so the flash was not firing.
    Any ideas about this??
    Would I be better off to avoid overcast days and stick to sunnier days and shoot him in the shade?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You're having white balance problems, you can adjust for that on your computer. If your white balance is too cool, than add yellow to warm it up to your liking. If you don't have any software on your computer to do color correction, get some. I use Adobe Lightroom and it's fantastic for color correction and a few more advanced tweaks. It's great for batch processing and is incredibly easy to use. The only problem with it (In my opinion) is the grayscale mixer, but that's subjective.

    In my opinion, if you don't do post production on your images, than you might as well shoot film, otherwise almost the whole idea of shooting digitally goes out the window.
     
  3. adamsfour

    adamsfour TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I don't feel as bad now when I have to "help" my photos look like they are supposed to.
    Post production is why I love digital, but up to this point, I have had a hard time manipulating the photos. I am using Photoshop Elements 5.

    I am using some of the presets for "adjust color for skin tone" and it is making a huge improvement.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have the option of setting a custom white balance?

    If not and you have PS CSx (I think- it's on cs2) open the photo in CS and select image/adjustments/match color. Leave the source on None. Check the box called Neutralize.

    You can play with the sliders but it's generally there.

    HTH

    mike
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Or just do waht I do and adjust your WB to whatever looks good, even if it isn't "correct".
     
  6. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Both methods have advantages. I prefer overcast as this allows more moving around a location. Having said that, bright shade can lend some interesting patterns to a subject.

    Just finished an outside senior session and it was in bright sun/ shade. Just watch your color temp.
     

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