Outdoor shooting problems

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RumDaddy, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    My last three attempts to take outdoor portraits were under extremely difficult conditions. Its late winter or early spring. So we have no leaves on trees to create shade and the time of the day was out of my hands. Early afternoon left me no building shade either. Not to mention zero clouds or over cast. My subjects were squinting and way to bright.

    Is it true that although not always but majority of the time you want your subjects in the shade?

    Also, please explain to me about your reflector. How important is a reflector and under what conditions do you use it or for what purposes?
     
  2. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    how about a diffuser?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Ive worked in the wedding industry for over 15 years as a videographer. Ive averaged at least 50 weddings a year if not more. Ive seen photographers use reflectors many of times. Just one big Frisbee shaped white thing. Ive seen them use it to reflect natural light on their subjects and also seen them use it to shade their subjects. Ive never seen a diffuser or the other device in the image above.
     
  4. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Here are some of my troubled images due to overly bright circumstances.

    The dress is washed out.

    [​IMG]

    Shadows on her face and once again the over bearing natural light kind of ruins the image.

    [​IMG]

    Shadows on her face again, this one isnt that bad. But I know it could have been much better or more professional looking.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I'm with Felix 222. You use a diffuser and you use strobed light so you can control the ambient sunlight.

    That means you have to use a shutter speed faster than the normal flash sync speed. Nikon calls it FP mode and I think Canon calls it HSS.

    At any rate, the advantage gained by using flash is that you can use aperture to control subject exposure, while using shutter speed to control background exposure and keep the background darker than your subject.

    Light advances and dark recedes. You don't want a subject that is darker than the background. You can just use a reflector for fill, but would still have a subject darker than the background.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Great example from Felix.

    Some of the best light you can get, is to hold up a diffusion panel between your subject and the sun. Have you seen those 5-in-1 reflectors? The 5th one is a diffusion panel as seen in that photo. The white reflector surface is similar, just not as opaque.

    If you can't use a diffusion panel, then just using a reflector to bounce some light onto the shadowy side, can make a huge difference.

    Either way, the key is to expose for the important parts. If that means exposing for the subject, and letting the background be blown out, then so be it. Sometimes that means letting the dress be a bit too bright, rather than having their face too dark...but that's not ideal.

    As mentioned, when using flash, you can underexpose the ambient light and then use flash to put light where you want it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  7. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    $52 for a 42 in diffusion panel. Ill ad that to my shopping list... LOL! Thanks guys. I have a deflector, but not a diffuser.
     

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