Photoshoot in full sunlight - advice please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CrazyEye, May 30, 2009.

  1. CrazyEye

    CrazyEye TPF Noob!

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    A couple has asked if I could take some portraits of their 1-year-old - they've tried going to a professional studio but their daughter has never cooperated. Apparently there is a small window during the day when she's in a good mood, and their appointment wasn't during one of those times. They say that her happy time is around 11am. They insist that we meet tomorrow for outdoor photos at 11am. The forecast for tomorrow is clear.

    This is my first planned photoshoot and I'm really worried about the lighting. I've done some playing around with warm late afternoon side light with great results, but have never had anything turn out interesting in full sun. Does anyone have any tips? Thanks.
     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not a pro at these, but these are some general tips. I figured I'd toss 'em out in case you're pressed for time... better my half-useful info than none. :)

    - bring a circular polarizer if you can, cuts down harsh light
    - try to wait for a cloud to pass over the subject before taking the shot if you can- makes a big difference in the lighting
    - try to go under cover of trees or something and use a reflector to bring the light to your subject (if you don't have one, those stupid silver "protect your dashboard from cooking" things work pretty good
    - watch out for her looking directly into the sun because she'll get squinty and you want to see her eyes, but conversely...
    - watch out for her back to the sun as it will wind up overexposing the background, which can look pretty crappy
    - bring a flash and use it as fill (preferably diffused and turned down) to help deal with the 2nd situation above
     
  3. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Take it for what it's worth. But I found some good tips in here.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjOChmOVBm4&feature=channel_page"]YouTube - Episode 25, Outdoor Portraits #1[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU7hAq5-kdc&feature=channel_page"]YouTube - Episode 26, Outdoor Portraits #2[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTDHfyQZSiE&feature=channel_page"]YouTube - Episode 27, Outdoor Portraits #3[/ame]
     
  4. CrazyEye

    CrazyEye TPF Noob!

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    Ooh, I really like the affect of the gold reflector. I wonder how I could make one? (Since I'm just a hobbyist, I don't want to spend a lot of money.)
     
  5. CrazyEye

    CrazyEye TPF Noob!

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    - polarizer: lately all the photos I take with the polarizer come out looking too dark and dull. I don't know why. I will experiment some today with it before I decide to use it for tomorrow.

    - unfortunately, it's supposed to be a completely clear day tomorrow - not a cloud in the sky.

    - I do have a car shield thing - that's a great idea!

    Thanks for the tips!
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Make some kind of a frame and stretch a gold "space blanket" over it.

    I am thinking if you got some plastic rod like 1/4" diameter, make a big loop, melt the ends together.

    Place the blanket on the floor, stretch it over the loop. Trim it so you have like a 4" overlap.

    Fold that over the loop.

    Take your OLD iron. (wife might like a new one anyway.) and iron the folded over portion on the blanket. (it's made out of mylar and you are melting the two surfaces together to seal them.
     
  7. CrazyEye

    CrazyEye TPF Noob!

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    Hey, I am the wife! :p

    DH has a couple space blankets from some races he's run, but they are all silver. I just watched video 18, where reflective poster board is used. I wonder if that comes in gold too?
     
  8. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    As he quickly ducks and runs from the onslaught of irons....
    I do the ironing too in my house. My ex-wife wouldn't touch my army uniforms.

    At the local sporting good houses here, they have both "orange" (gold) and silver blankets.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    For reference: Reflectors are not expensive

    Here's a 5-in1 reflector, gold, silver, white, black, and diffuser. $25
     
  10. CrazyEye

    CrazyEye TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that isn't bad.

    I was able buy one silver and one gold poster board for about $10. I guess those will work for now. :)
     

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjochmovbm4&feature=channel page]youtube - episode 25, outdoor portraits #1[/ame]