Question, Please help

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by kayliana, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. kayliana

    kayliana TPF Noob!

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    I know this may be a dumb question, but i'm going to ask it anyways :) Ok,I want to take pictures for a friend's kids. I've taken some pictures before (always for free of course) but i've never been very successful with shootin in the sun light. I know horizontal lighting is the best, but it seems the light is always in their face (making them squint), or too many shadows. Please help! Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Jane58

    Jane58 TPF Noob!

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    If you don't know the answer, it's not a stupid question! That's what places like this are for!!!! I'm sure someone will chime in with a good answer for you...I don't really like taking people pics so I don't know the right answer. When I've done a few family shoots, I took them with sun over head so it didn't bother anyone...I know, I cheated!!! One was to the side, too.
     
  3. kayliana

    kayliana TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! I don't either, but I always have a few people ask me. So it would be nice to know. Thank you again :)
     
  4. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Put them in the shade. Hard, direct sunlight is a bear to deal with, and not usually very flattering for portraits.

    If you have the motivation to do something that will make for some really special shots for practically no money, make a scrim by hanging a white sheet between the sun and the subject just outside of the shot to diffuse the sunlight. It becomes a giant softbox for you, and it works great.

    ;)
     
  5. NiKOnSLR

    NiKOnSLR TPF Noob!

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    Isnt it just easier to buy a lens filter that helps reduce the sun lights? I believe is UV filter.
     
  6. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Actually, that wouldn't do it at all, unfortunately. The ratio of light to shadow on the subject is still going to be too intense and harsh to deal with, and they'll still be squinting too. In fact, UV filters do little or nothing for digital cameras, other than provide a bit of protection to the front element of the lens, and some even dispute that benefit.

    The only real solution is to diffuse the light, and that means shading out harsh light and spreading it more evenly over the subject.

    The sheet solution is the DIY no/low-cost way of setting up a scrim diffuser panel as the real answer to the problem. Professional photography diffuser scrims come in all kinds of sizes and shapes, but cost some dollars. There are hand-held scrim diffusers, stand-clamped scrim diffusers and larger free-standing scrim diffusers.

    I have a set of lightweight PVC pipes with fittings that can be put together in many ways in just a couple minutes to make any number of different sized diffuser screens, and white rip-stop nylon gets fitted over it and clamped onto the frame once built, but if you can get two assistants to hold up the corners of a sheet, or one assistant and a tree or sign, or two trees or signs close enough together, you'll be able to do essentially the same thing.
     
  7. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another alternative (helps the deep shadows, but not the squinting) is to use a reflector - just a large, flat white object that reflects some of the sunlight back onto the shady side of your subject. You can buy one, or DIY/improvise (for example, just a large piece of white card) depending on your budget.

    Finding a shady spot to shoot is probably best though - for example under a tree.
     
  8. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also use the largest diffuser in the world for no fee whatsoever - cloud cover. Truly wonderful images can be created on a day with light overcast. The addition of a simple little flash for fill will add a lot of oomph to your overcast day shoot.

    Pat
     

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