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,
Rick
P.S. My camera for this shoot? My trusty Canon G10.

4 comments:

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!
rick

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 :-))