Portaiture in the woods

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Bryant, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, so I've got a model, not professional, just a friend, that I'm photographing. She wants a portrait shot that has the foliage that's coming upon us. I have the spot, but I've never done a portrait. Should I use a flash? What's the best time of day... morning or night? Any insight would be great
     
  2. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    11
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    Well bryant the question is difficult to answer as asked. I would say early morning when light is still soft but you have to evaluate the light at that time and decide from there. Direct flash from on camera in general makes a snapshot not portraiture.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The "Golden" or Magic hour is usually the first or last hour of sun light and is much softer and better to work with. If you are in the woods with foliage however, you might consider extending it to the first or last 2 hours depending on how wooded it is. Fill flash would likely help the portrait, but built in flash would make it snapshotty as dead eye pointed out. Good fill flash from a speed light will enhance the shot and remove the shadows around the eyes, etc.
     
  4. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Is there any place that talks about portraiture and how to achieve certain aspects, like tutorials online.
     
  5. E6filmuser

    E6filmuser TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    England
    Beware of green casts from reflections off foliage.

    It might even be worth experimenting with a polarizer.

    If your model looks towards a strong light (not flash) her pupils will contract which is not an attractive look.

    A reflector (make one from cooking foil) can give a more subtle and controlable fill.
     
  6. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    11
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    I guess if the pupil was a wee tiney dot that will be the case. I would be more concern that she squints ( not good portraiture ) . I will in fact aim a halogen at a model in studio to shrink the pupil and thus show the pretty color of the iris.
     
  7. Stogie

    Stogie TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I always use flash when shooting. When shooting outdoors, pay special attention to whats behind your subjects head. There's nothing like getting your pictures back and it looks like a tree limb growing out of your subjects head. Like someone else said, foilage will cause color cast if your not careful. Fuji makes a 4 layer film that helps prevent that.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm not so concerned with pupil size as squinting. I try to orient my subjects so they are looking into a dark area or scene. If they are facing a bright sky they'll probably be squinting.

    I love back lit foliage combined with fill flash for portraits in the woods.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,327
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Fill flash is good.

    The thing with early and late light isn't so much the color (you can always use filters) but the angle. You can't fake the shadows or the texture you get with low light. (ok, you can but it's really tough!) Think about shooting a portrait with someone sitting directly under a bare lightbulb and then one with the light in another room coming through a door.

    Enjoy the day!

    mike
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis

Share This Page