Good outdoor portrait conditions?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Tbini87, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys. My wife and I have been asked to do some shoots for friends of ours. We will be shooting kids (6months-3 years) and will probably be shooting outside. I have been trying to research and get info into what we need to do to get the best shots we can get. However, I feel like I am still a little lost on getting the best conditions we can get for the shoot. So, a couple of questions I have on shooting outside portraits:

    1) What time of day should we shoot? I assume later in the day when the sun isn't as harsh, but before the sun starts to set so we have plenty of natural light?

    2) We only have the on camera flash, so should we forget about using "Fill-flash"? I actually don't even know how to use fill-flash but have seen a lot of talk about it when doing research. Any good articles or info on fill-flash would be great!

    3) Is it best to shoot in shady areas when possible to reduce shadows or glare?

    Any other tips or pointers would be great. Even links to good articles would be great so I can try to get a clue about what we need to do. Thanks guys!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    you can shoot anytime you like, but i'd stay outside, under open shade.

    I'd o to the camera store and get a 50mm f/1.4. I'd also probably shoot it mostly around f/2-2.8.

    Focus carefully on the eyes. The picture doesn't matter if the eyes aren't in focus.
     
  3. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    Just got a 35mm 1.8 in the mail, and have a 50mm 1.8 on the way. I don't really know how well I will be able to manually focus the 50mm lens on a moving 6month old though to be honest. Thanks for the advice though!
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    for the baby, you can use the 35, it should be ok.
     
  5. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    i like to shoot between 3 and 7 PM
    the sun is lower a little bit.
     
  6. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Overcast day is always the best. Avoid direct sunlight anywhere on the subject if you dont have a nice flash or reflector.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Open shade works well. Avoid dappled shade.

    Digital PhotoCorner - Open Shade: Page 1 of 2

    Since it will be you and your wife you can use a reflector, like the white foam board you can get from Wal-Mart or Staples, to use for fill and to help separate your subject from the background.

    A made for photography 5-in-1 reflector: Impact | 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector - 42x72" | CRK-4272

    You can use the built-in flash for fill too, if you put the flash in manual mode and turn the power down. Start at about the 1/16 power level.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've done a fair amount of outdoor portraiture.

    Getting into the shade is a good start, but just a start.

    If you work this way, there's no need for a flash fill because the shade IS the fill. What you'll need is a main. What I do is move to the edge of the shade... the edge where you find open sky. The sky will be the main.

    Also, choose an area with NO direct sunlight... not even on the background. Direct sunlight will be MUCH brighter and MUCH warmer than the light on your subjects. Look too for a setting that is deep... 20 feet and up.

    I wouldn't advise shooting any wider than f4.5 or so, especially with the kids. And use at lens at least 80mm long.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :thumbup:
     
  10. jonib101

    jonib101 TPF Noob!

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    I just got done shooting my little brother, who is four, at the park. My dad said 10 and 2 were the best times for lighting, but on a bright day, it's just too much for my liking. I tried to put him in the shadows, and it worked out great!
     
  11. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all the advise guys!
     
  12. Looking Glass Photo

    Looking Glass Photo TPF Noob!

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    My advice to you is to shoot at about 4ish, anytime the sun isn't directly overhead. Place the subject so the sun is behind them, and use a reflector (or anything big and white) to fill in their face.

    I would steer clear of on camera fill flash...

    Hope this helps :thumbup:
     

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