With nice weather there is always the temptation to go outside and shoot outdoor portraits. But unfortunately with nice weather you get strong light, which can prove just as great a challenge for photographers as rain and bad weather. This is because of the harsh shadows it casts under eyes and chins. Below is a simple method you can use to bounce light back on to your subject’s face, and a metering technique to help you get a spot-on exposure.
Do you struggle with preserving valuable highlight and shadow detail when shooting high-contrast photos? Follow the camera tips inside and learn how to use your camera’s lighting controls to balance exposure and preserve both highlight and shadow detail in your high-contrast photos.
Midday, mid-summer sunshine creates very harsh light that results in high contrast and problems with deep shadows that contain little or no detail. Taking outdoor portraits in these conditions, and with the sun behind you, will inevitably lead to disappointing shots with heavy shadows under your subject’s eyes and nose, and they’ll probably be squinting awkwardly in the bright light too.
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When it comes to light, it’s quality, not quantity, that counts. A sunny day may make you more inclined to go out and take pictures, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get great shots. In fact, you are just as likely to capture award-winning pictures on a dark, stormy afternoon as you are under a cloudless sky.
Your digital camera can compensate for low light by cranking up the ISO, opening up the aperture, using longer shutter speeds and getting essential support from a tripod. However, your camera can’t do much about the way the light falls upon your subject, and it is this that makes or breaks a picture.
The soft, flat light produced when the sky is overcast and cloudy may be frustrating when shooting outdoors, but it’s perfect for shooting still lifes at home. The trick to window light photography is to control where this light falls and, just as importantly, where it doesn’t.
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to take control of your window light photography using reflectors, diffusers and shade, and at the end we have another free photography cheat sheet illustrating the different types of effects you can get on a budget using window light and some simple tools. These skills will stand you in good stead whatever lighting you use – even a full studio flash set-up is based on the same principles.
Are you a frustrated family portrait photographer? While we can’t offer much help in the way of crying babies, we can help with a number of common obstacles we face when taking pictures of family. In the latest of our Photography Cheat Sheet series we’ve come up with what we believe are four of the trickiest conditions for shooting family portrait photography.
Within each scenario we’ve crafted a handy little flow chart to get you through each challenging situation and come out the other side with a top-notch family portrait. Simply drag and drop the infographic inside on to your desktop to save as a handy reference the next time you’re called in to action as the Official Family Photographer!
By 9am the sun reaches an angle of about 45 degrees and at this point the light has pretty much the same intensity as it has at noon, remaining that way until around 4pm.