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Monday, October 29, 2012

13 Tips for Improving Outdoor Portraits (pt2.)

7. Shoot in shade (avoid direct sunlight).
     •Direct sunlight is harsh, makes your subject squint, and creates hard directional shadows and unpredictable white balance conditions.
8. Shoot carefully on a overcast day.
     •Natures soft box is a giant blanket of clouds. A good heavy blanket of cloud cover can help you enrich your colors, and make some very smooth and pleasing shadows.
9. If you must use hot, hard, bright light....
     •Always try to control the direction, use some kind of reflector, and try to mimic a studio light. Putting the sun directly behind your subject isn’t a good idea, unless you are trying to make a silhouette.

Image by Meredith Farmer

10. Use an existing reflector.
     •Big white delivery trucks can make amazing fill light reflectors as long as they weren’t painted with an off white.

11. Learn the sunny f16 rule.
     •The sunny ƒ16 rule states that on a sunny day, with your aperture value set to ƒ16, your shutter speed will be the inverse of the current ISO speed.

12. Bring a sheet and a few spring clamps from home.
     •Clamp all for corners to anything you can above your subject for an overhead light.

13. Keep the power-lines and signs out!
     •We have already discussed keeping your camera focused on the eyes; keep your mind focused on the image as a whole. Power lines, signs, long single blades of grass, single pieces of garbage, sometimes even trees can be serious distractions from the overall focus of the image.


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