Entries in Portrait (18)
Welcome to the most images I have ever put into one blog post. Thanks Savanna :-)
Hi everyone, Todays blog is a bit different than normal. I usually make my blog posts very educational which I do prefer and believe in. That means that I usually post one image and maybe some overviews clarifying what's been done.
This post is in honor of a friend that claims he never looks at blog posts unless they have many pictures, so here it is Scott :-) It is kind of the old test, you are only as good as your last job. I finished this shoot about 24 hours ago. The job is photographing beautiful, sweet Savanna who has signed with Elite Model Management in NYC. She is flying out tomorrow with her parents for some training and her sister is doing a shoot for Seventeen Magazine. Savannah needs to put together some portfolio shots for the trip, that is why all these images are in the 3:4 format, because standard size for model portfolios is 9 x 12. It was her very first model shoot and it was an honor to be the photographer for it. How old do you think she is? 13 with a bright future, and parents behind her that will totally look after her; good to see.
I used 2-5 strobes in these shots and sometimes a reflector in addition. All Elinchrom which I love except my ring flash is an Alien Bee. 5 different light modifiers on the Elinchrom strobes.
See I can't post without talking about the images—I want to share. I will put one overview under image number 10. Now I will try to not comment anymore, hope you enjoy looking at 10 images from 1 shoot of 1 beautiful, promising model. I think it would be fun if the readers would suggest 1 image with a comment about what they would want on a seperate blog post. Maybe about how it was done? All shots Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.
Yes this is the light set up on two images up, 3 backlights, a fill into wall and ceiling behind me ( neutral grey walls) then my ring flash, see the shadow behind her, and then look how cool it works on the actual image :-) PS. Yes, the lamp with the beauty dish is not on in this shot, have a great weekend!
Today we are going to talk about what very many Photographers consider the biggest problem with reflectors. Subjects having a hard time with the bright light. I will teach you a very simple and easy trick today. Then I will talk a bit about advice in general to help clients handle bright light better. Let's start with Image 1.
Image 1. This is a typical set up for a bright sun shot. We have the sun hit her from behind to get a nice white veil etc. The problem here is the light from our silver reflector is very bright and it is hard for her to keep her eyes open. So here is the solution. We asked the bride to close her eyes and relax while we set the light. We usually try to make the reflected light match the backlight. When we feel good about the light, we turn it off, and have her open her eyes and we talk with her about how we want her to close they eyes again, and tell her we will count to 1-2-3. We want her to open the eyes on 3, and I will take 3-4 fast exposures, almost always at least one of them have big eyes. When people open their eyes they usually fully open before they close them to defend themselves against the bright light hitting them. I do this a couple of times to be sure I have what I need.
Image 2. Here we have a nice shot of Mimi with her beautiful eyes, after using the 1-2-3 technique. I have always hated to do anything 1-2-3 in Photography, but I have to admit it sure works in this case.
We have to remember, especially if clients come from being inside and out to the bright sun, it takes their eyes a while to adjust to the brightness. If it's a bridal shoot, like in this case, I will maybe use the first 10 minutes when we get out to talk about the shoot, how she is doing etc. giving her time to get used to the bright light. People that always seem to wear sunglasses seem to have the hardest time with bright light.
Once I was doing an engagement shoot and the groom could not even keep his eyes open in the shade. He was SO light sensitive. This was 4 months before their Wedding Day. I asked if he used sunglasses a lot. He sad ALWAYS! So I told him in a kind way, that if he wanted great pictures on the big day, I suggest he not wear sunglasses again before the wedding. The wedding day came, it was a very bright sunny July day, 103ºF and Utah has such a bright sunlight. We started taking pictures and he had no problem with his eyes on any location or under any condition. I complemented him and he told me had not used sunglasses since the engagement shoot 4 months earlier. Woooow! Great commitment to pictures, and he sure looked great and so did his bride.
Welcome to Part 2 in this 4 part series on Photographing in Midday sun, these two images is taken within less then a minute of each other around 2:30 pm on a day where the sun was at the highest (Noon) at 1:15pm. (For Noon info, sunrise etc , see iPhone app Darkness) Hope you enjoy this midday series? This part also have good info on perspective and working with wide angel lenses in people photography.
Before I get into Image number 1 here is the technical info. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @47mm and f 5.7 (43mm is normal on a DSLR not 50mm) Time taken 2:33:36 pm so 1 hour and 18 min after the sun was at the highest.
In midday sun tall buildings are great, I picked this silo because of it interesting shape against the sky. As you can see from Illustration # 2, I choose to work right inside the shade, and get lot's of bounce from the sun hitting the ground. The silver reflector creates a great highlight to shape her face. I wanted the shaded area of the silo as background to get a colder color temperature in the background then the reflected light, and found it more peaceful. If I had wanted a more dramatic image I could have back lit her, and used the sunny side. If you have problems with clients reacting to the bright light? then make sure to read Part 4 of this series which have great solutions for that.
In Illustration #2 see how she leans her upper body towards the camera, it is to get less distortion shooting it at 24mm on full frame, if you look at the final image underneath this way of standing have avoided a distorted face and body, if she had stayed straight up she would have gotten very wide hips and a small head with an up the nose look. Try to think camera and subject leveled when you shoot wide angel, if you want the subject to look it's best.
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 24mm and f5.7 This image is taken at 2:34:19 pm, so less then a minute apart from the closer shot. This is what I like about high quality zooms, being able to quickly get different shots, especially when I'm laying in such an uncomfortable position :-)
I decided to add more light on her face then the rest of the body since I consider her face the most important part of the image, not the clothes. If it had been a fashion image I would have approached it differently, drawn more attention to her clothes and maybe had her look away?
PS. NO retouch done on any of the images :-)
I just got back from another teaching tour in Europe, and it made me realize more than ever how much I love to photograph in midday sun. Love the quality of light we can get then. I will make this a 4 part series, in part 1 I will show some examples with diffused sun + a reflector. This shot was done during a class in Norway on May 3rd. According to the iPhone app, brightest noon that day was 1:15pm. "Noon" is seldom 12pm. I wanted to do my demo when the sun was as high as possible, so these shots were done between 1:07 and 1:32, the time most photographers consider "the worst time" of day. NOT ME! Okay, let's start looking at some images:
Image #1.This image is taken at 1:32 pm with a 70-200mm@170 and f2.8. If you look at the overview underneath you will see how we have diffused the midday sun into a soft nice light with a California Sunbounce Sun-Swatter Pro . I have an assistant reflecting sun into her face with a silver reflector.
Overview for Image #1. See how far out of the my shooting area the Sun Swatter is. That is one of its most unique features, it frees you up so much more than other diffusers. (This overview is taken within a few minutes from the the shot on top, but with the same technique).
Image #2. Time 1:07:05 pm. 70-200mm@200 at f4. In this shot I have placed the model in the direct sun right out of the shade to get a cold shadowed background (higher Kelvin temperature there). I just used a small soft silver reflector to give her face a pop of highlight. We also get a bit of fill light from the sun hitting the white wall about 25 ft from her (see overview right underneath text). This direct sun approach gives more layers of light and is more dramatic than image #3 shot a few minutes later.
Overview for image #2 taken 1:07:10 pm 5 seconds after Image #2. The Sun Swatter has no effect here, just the soft nice silver reflector giving her a nice highlight and the white house wall giving some nice fill. The sun hitting her adds drama, see image #3 for the more diffused version.
Image #3. Time 1:07:54 so within seconds we shoot this variations. It's shot with a 70-200mm f2.8 at 130mm and f4. This image has less drama, more overall soft light—it's a matter of taste, both look good for midday sun, I think. What a GREAT time of day to SHOOT!!!
Overview Image #3. Time 12:07:42 pm. Notice that the Sun Swatter creates a soft, diffused light on and in front of the model.
Conclusion: I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING IN MIDDAY SUN, watch for parts 2, 3 and 4 coming soon.
Image 1. I had so much fun photographing my wife and our two daughters yesterday. First of all I'm not very good at taking pictures of my own family, so don't be like me. I sure enjoy the results and having them when I do. I have always been a shopper, and buy most of the clothes for my wife ( she doesn't like shopping!!!) and also more and more for my daughters. I wanted to take a picture of the 3 of them in clothes I bought them without them! They keep getting so many compliments on their clothing and when people ask: Where did you buy it the answer is often, my Dad/Husband bought it in Europe. Especially my 14 year olds friends have a hard time understanding that Dad bought it :-) Well here is my shopping shot, photshopped by my wife MaryLyn, all my girsl are awsome in Photoshop BTW. We left the hair light etc on top to give it a Polaroid feeling kind of, like it.
Image 2. has a good lesson to it. In this image of my daughter Lindsey, she is just standing waiting for the other 2 in her spot, I'm telling her I'm testing light and she is all relaxed and thinking, great mood, and I think the use of space where the other 2 soon would be worked well. You can get so many great shots of people when you test light, tell them you need to change some settings or whatever. They will so often do something relaxed and natural which will again make a great image, so always watch and click, click.......Have a nice week end.