Master the natural light
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The sun is your greenest light, it may be your best ally as your worst enemy. Yes ! depending on the weather, you will have variations of the light and the color tones. It’s good to have a reflector with you when you go out to do portraits.
Thank you in advance for the comments, and if you have suggestions you can let me know :)
Full sun :
When the weather is nice, I recommend you to ask your model to be in the shadow, for several reasons :
- keep his makeup intact
- do not have too much highlights, it’s difficult to manage it in post production
- keep a beautiful contrast between your model and the background
Regarding the background you must be careful with not to have your model in the shadow with a background over-exposed, to overcome this, analyze your environment, and see if you can :
- use a wall as a background, in which case you can play with the shadow of the model or the shadows of the different things around.
- find a place in the shade with a dark enough background, if you do this you'll have a good control over the depth of field, then your model and the background will have a similar exposure.
The reflectors :
The main function of a reflector is to unclog the shadows, but you will see that it’s possible to use it in several ways.
To use it correctly, ask someone to hold it for you or to put it on a pod, the sunlight has to comes to reflect on it, and thus come to lighten the face of your model.
You must be careful that the reflected light is not too strong, otherwise your model will be dazzled and over-exposed. The best way is to find a place where the sun's rays are not too powerful.
The golden side adds light and warm tones to your subject, this is one of the best options of a reflector.
The silver side, it will add more light and cold tones, which is most of the time, not so good.
Sometimes, In the 5in1 kits there are a mixed silver / gold side ! it’s pretty well because it will bring beautiful color tones on your model.
There is also a white or transparent side (in the center), which is used to reflect a little bit the light, it’s a nice deal if it is sunny !
When it’s cloudy, it’s one of the best ways to have beautiful pictures. Because the light has the same low intensity everywhere, which allows you to easily open your diaphragm (aperture) and so have pretty blur around your model.
The colors will also be warmer and the clouds are used as a diffuser, this is a very important point.
Little warning ! it's nice to have beautiful blurs and beautiful colors, but depending on the position of the model, the face will often be in the shadow, so be careful on the positioning of light rays. You can ask your model to turn the head until the light looks good on the face. If you manage to find the right position then you will be able to have a very nice picture :)
Sunrise and Sunset :
Shooting early in the morning or late afternoon has benefits, like beautiful lights and colors, and few people around you. But also disadvantages, which are it can be cold and the light changes constantly.
With a flash:
If you shoot outside, you can use a flash, place your model back to the sun and the flash in front or on the side, especially at the sunrise/sunset or if it is cloudy, it will create beautiful lights.
Using a flash on your model with the sun in the back will be able to draw the contours of its silhouette, or the sun may be your main light and the flash will come knocking in the back.
The sun indoors :
The sun can also offer you beautiful indoor lights, placing your model or subject near a window. If you have blackout curtains you can use them as diffusers.
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