Speedlight for portraits?

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by MrsLittle, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    Do you think it's overkill if someone uses a speedlight for outdoor portraits versus full natural light? I love the look and results I get when photographing with my SL, even in the golden hours. Does anybody else do this?


     
  2. MTVision

    MTVision Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think lots of people do this.

    If you like the look and the results then go for it.
     
  3. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do whatever works best for you and your style. Some people won't shoot anything other than natural light, others take strobes and reflectors out with them. IMO strobes are great for outdoor lighting as long as you get them off camera and use either a diffuser, soft box, or an umbrella.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use flash 95% of the time regardless if I'm outdoors or indoors.
    Outdoors, since it is the topic, if I'm by the building, I often bounce the flash into the building. At other times I use OCF. It is really about the look you're trying to get.
     
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  5. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    Cool! That makes me feel a little better, since I am always tempted to take my SL out during midday photos and don't want to feel like a fool. I do take it off the camera as well, even if I'm only holding it a foot away from my camera with a tiny softbox diffuser over it.
     
  6. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No worries, you have the right idea. Flash is essential to overpower the sun or to add fill-light if you are in the shade (which you should be during mid-day).
     
  7. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    I don't even like to shoot in the shade. I have become well aware how flat that lighting appears without a fill.
     
  8. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All you're doing with a flash is you adding another tool to draw your subject with light.
     
  9. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    That last time I did a some photos for friends using my flash, I got hack about it being a "rookie mistake". I put the SL down for a while and started using only Natural light outdoors but then found my photos to be very boring.
     
  10. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hence the fill light (i.e., strobe, speed light, etc). You can also use a strobe in conjunction with a reflector. If you position the subject on the edge of the shade you can reflect some warm light onto them via the reflector while using a diffused speed light for fill, definition, etc.

    There is nothing wrong with shooting in the direct sun either, as long as you know how to position the subject and can properly fill in the shadows.
     
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  11. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    I agree 1000% with IgsEMT... fill flash is something I use a lot. It gives good definition, and will make colors pop in a very nice way. Done properly, I really doubt that most people can tell you used it.. except maybe for a well defined catchlight in the eyes.
     
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  12. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    You're right, fudge what other people think. Learning to use strobes properly is trickier than I ever thought it would be but I am trying my darndest to get better and make it look natural.
     

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