How to avoid face shadows?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by caroline3746, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. caroline3746

    caroline3746 TPF Noob!

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    I have a photo session next Saturday and im worried it will be to sunny out and I wont be able to find any shade..

    When its sunny out I always end up with the face shadows and I absolutely hate it. so anyone know any methods that could help me avoid them?
     
  2. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    reflectors, reflective sirfaces, or even somebody in a white t-shirt to help reflect some light into the shaded areas... Squinting subjects may be your biggest issue......:D
     
  3. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Using a reflector is probably the easiest and cheapest method. Depending on where the sun is in the sky, you place the reflector where it will reflect light back onto the subject, which lightens shadows.

    Foamcore board, or any white reflective surface will work. Aluminum foil is more reflective, so you can cover a surface with it to use. Also, those windshield reflectors people put on their car dashboards to keep the heat out work good too.
     
  4. caroline3746

    caroline3746 TPF Noob!

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    Is their anywhere I can read about reflective surfaces? Im not to sure on how to work that, last time I did a photo session when it was really sunny out my photos where not the quality I would have liked and I feel like I failed and I dont want anouther repeat or I at least want to know I did my best to prevent a bad photo.

    like here is one from my last sunny session
    [​IMG]

    I know the big shadow and some of the shadows on her face are from poor positioning.
     
  5. caroline3746

    caroline3746 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, think is I took a big piece of card board and covered it in tin foil that would work? If so ill try to work with doing that this week and use my daughter as a test subject lol.
     
  6. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but it all depends on where you place the reflector. Remember the whole point is to reflect the sun's light. So experiment.

    That photo you posted has other issues as well. Like putting the subject against a wall like that makes it impossible to throw the background out of focus. And with hard directional light like that, you get a strong shadow on wall when it could have been avoided by just moving away from the wall.
     
  7. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    This is all under the assumption that you simply must shoot outside in hard light without much gear.

    If possible, seek shade.
     
  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    This is what fill flash is for. H
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Impossible. You can't avoid the shadows, period.

    That's not to say that the earlier posts don't contain good advice on how to improve the situation.

    Adding a fill, perhaps a stong one, can do a lot to reduce the difference between the fully lit and shadowed portions of the image. They won't completely eliminate the shadows. You still need to pose the shoot with an eye to where the shadows fall. Use the shadows to "shape" the image; have them fall in desirable areas and then use the fill to lighten them.
     
  10. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    Oops, wrong thread.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I find myself in that situation quite often.. I tend to travel light so I have to be creative at times.

    My car's windshield sun shade often serves as my reflector. Its that shiny silver material.. goldish on the other side. Works great.
     
  12. e.bphoto

    e.bphoto TPF Noob!

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    If it's possible, try shooting in the evening where the sun isn't so harsh. Is it possible to do the photo shoot later? This will help you tremendously. Their eyes won't be squinted and IMO- I think if you used reflectors, it might make the photos have too much light..like the photo above. It's not that the photo doesn't have enough light (what reflectors are used for), it's that it has too many blown points. Her face is lit up well so I fear (in this particular photo) if you would have used a reflector, it might have made it much brighter..all just my own thoughts :)
    Good luck and can't wait to see the shoot!!!!

    ~Erica

    Ps. have you tried adjusting your WB?
     

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