One more question...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Reyna, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    Sorry for all the silly questions!

    I took a ton of pictures this weekend out in the bright Texas sun. Well, most of them have pretty bad shadows across my childrens faces. I 'think' if I get a speedlight, it will help with this? I took some fantastic photos, but they are ruined with the darn shadows.

    If a speedlight would dramatically help with this, I am willing to spend the money. Any advice or thoughts? Thank you all! My husband says I have become addicted to taking perfect photos.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the addiction :)
    A speedlite can help, but there are other things you can use as well

    Firstly the cheapest solution is to shoot later or earlier in the day, when the sun is less intense and the light more diffused. That will give you far less of a shadow problem - of course it does bring its own challenges, because lesser softer light means a slower shutter speed - unless you up your ISO

    Then lets consider that you can't shoot at a different part of the day - well the sun is your main light source and problem - so you can use a 5 in 1 reflector on the diffusion sheet to diffuse the light from the sun - an assitant or a tripod with a gripper/arm attachment can be used to hold the diffusion panel to block the sunlight - this giving you softer shadows. Of course this method is not going to work on kids playing nor most other moving subjects

    Then we get to the flash - and yes it can help also, by using the flash for fill lighting it can effectivly flatten the light over the subject - as in it will fill light into those shadowed spots to lessen their harshness. (and beyond that basic bit of theory I am still working out how to perfect this method)
     
  3. choudhrysaab

    choudhrysaab TPF Noob!

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    can you post a sample image to show what exactly you're talking about?
     
  4. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it will definitely help by filling in the shadows. However, it will not help as much as you might expect. The problem is that the lens must close down substantially because of the sun and it will very probably be closed more than what the flash unit wants.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    A flash (speedlite) can be used for fill light, which is what you are wanting (to fill in the shadows). You can also use a simple reflector to bounce the sunlight back into their faces...but you would need someone to hold it while you shoot...or a stand of some kind, to hold it for you.

    Another way to avoid the harsh light & deep shadows is to not shoot under that lighting. Find some shaded spots where the direct sunlight isn't falling on your subjects.
     
  6. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thank you all for your help. Most of the pics I take are of my kids and there is no way I could hold up a reflector... they move WAY to much.

    Here is an example... cute picture but that massive shadow ruins it.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    Another

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Stormin

    Stormin TPF Noob!

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    At the same time, you can ask him to move and get him into that shadow to make the shot better, right? :) I know that working with kids can't be easy (there's reasons I have none), but if you want to improve those shots moving the subject may be the only practical way.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, shooting kids can be tough. Getting a flash can certainly help for shots like this.
     

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