Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Control the Light

Here's my #1 tip for outdoor portraits: Control the light with a reflector, diffuser or a flash. All of these accessories have something in common: they can reduce the contrast range in the frame, reducing or eliminating harsh and unflattering shadows. A flash and reflector can also add a nice catch light to a subject's eyes.

Check out the top row of pictures. The girl's dad is holding a diffuser (actually from my Light Control Kit) between the sun and his daughter's face. Look at the harsh shadows on his face. Half of it is hidden in a shadow. The other two shots in the top row show the beautiful effect of the diffuser.

The bottom row of pictures illustrates (L to R): No diffuser, diffuser, diffuser/flash.

Control the light and your subject's faces will light up when they see their pictures.

Explore the Light,
P.S. My camera for this shoot? My trusty Canon G10.


Loyce said...

Love it. It's much easier to understand when we're shown with photos. Thanks, Rick.

Yulia said...

Hi, I have sort of related question. I am going to photograph one of my Acquaintances “wedding”. They are already married, but want some photos of them in a park. The park doesn’t have many trees, but huge rolling hills with bright green grass. I want to take sort of a landscape photo of green grass blue sky and bride and groom (black and white). How do I properly expose and how do I get everything in focus?

Rick Sammon said...

hi yulia -

a) try to shoot in the total shade or use a flash.
b) use a wide angle lens, small aperture and focus 1/3 into the scene.

good luck!

yulia said...

Thank you very much for your help. I also got your wedding photography book. Great stuff!!!

Also, could you recommend an external hard drive for backing up my photos? I need to buy one because I started to get nightmares that photos of this recent wedding I shot can be magically erased :-))