02 Shoot outdoor portraits with flash
Despite the colder temperatures, winter brings with it a warm, soft quality of light that’s perfect for flattering outdoor portrait photography. But although the light at this time of year is less harsh than during the summer, you’ll find that introducing a flash can add sparkle and style to your outdoor portraits.
By dialling in a little negative Exposure Compensation for the natural light (try -1 stop to begin with) and ensuring the flash is close enough to light the subject effectively, you can create dramatic shots where the subject stands out from their surroundings, as portrait professional Brett Harkness explains.
“The shown here was taken with an Elinchrom Quadra kit, my off-camera light source of choice. Under-exposing the scene gives more impact to the subject, while lighting slightly from the side gives that little bit more drama and subtle shadow to each of the subject’s faces.”
Shooting outdoor portraits in winter means that you need to work quickly. “The cold is certainly a factor you need to consider,” says Brett.
“Make sure you work quickly and have a plan or a shot in your head that you want to execute. For natural results, ensure you have something for the subject to do in order to take their mind off the cold too!”
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* Shoot from your subject’s eye level and use a focal length of 50mm or more for a flattering perspective.
* Make sure the sun is behind the subject, so that they’re not squinting.
* Use wide apertures to increase the distance that your flash can reach.
PAGE 1: Shoot frozen water
PAGE 2: Shoot outdoor portraits with flash
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PAGE 5: Shoot frost-covered flowers
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