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Old 10th of May 2011 (Tue)   #1
picard
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Default how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day? There is no harsh sun but the sky isn't dark either.

Would you use a softbox ?
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Old 10th of May 2011 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

Cloudy days are usually good for diffused lighting...you can shoot using natural light or add a little flash for fill...I like to underexpose the sky by a stop or 2 and use a softbox to expose the subject...
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Old 10th of May 2011 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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Cloudy days are usually good for diffused lighting...you can shoot using natural light or add a little flash for fill...I like to underexpose the sky by a stop or 2 and use a softbox to expose the subject...
thank you for your tip.
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Old 10th of May 2011 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

That's perfect weather. Yes I use an off camera light in a small soft box, to provide directional lighting.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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That's perfect weather. Yes I use an off camera light in a small soft box, to provide directional lighting.
Or still get them under some kind of overhang where directional light is provided naturally.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day? There is no harsh sun but the sky isn't dark either.

Would you use a softbox ?
It depends. Overcast can be perfect for portraits just don't show the sky. I often shoot portraits outside on overcast days without flash. Sometimes you need nothing, other times you may need a reflector and other times it may some fill. There are no hard fast formulas or rules only the skill in being able to see if the light is right and that takes time to learn.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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Or still get them under some kind of overhang where directional light is provided naturally.
Even on the most overcast days unless you are shooting at the bad times anyway 10-3 or so there is usually some direction to the light. The key is learning to see it and when its right and where to position the subjects and then if the lights not right and ya still have to shoot, having the skills and the equipment to get the shot anyway.

Bresson never used or liked strobes at all and I rarely see portraits that are better than his,

Last edited by airfrogusmc : 11th of May 2011 (Wed) at 07:57.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #8
picturecrazy
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

It depends. Even on overcast days, the light is still coming mostly from a high position, even if it does have a little direction to it. It can bring out bags under eyes and on people with deep set eyes, it can darken the eyes quite a bit.

Quite honestly, when I shoot it's often the norm rather than the exception to require additional light for a pleasing portrait on an overcast day. Whether you use a flash or reflector is irrelevant, as long as you fill in the darker areas that need to be filled.

I just shot a wedding a couple weeks ago in beautiful Jasper, Alberta. The ceremony was outside under a cloudy sky. Most people would say that it's perfect conditions, but I still saw lots of room for improvement. So I ended up setting up a flash to fill in the shadows on the couple. A reflector just isn't practical for a ceremony. One of the uncle bob's even told me that I shouldn't use the flash because it's cloudy. (I told him no, and he pretty much rolled his eyes at me and considered me an idiot from then on)

The point is, there is no rule for "cloudy days" or "sunny days". Every situation has to be evaluated individually and shot accordingly. Most people would say a cloudy day is perfect, but you should still be just as diligent and critical of the situation to produce the best product you can.

Last edited by picturecrazy : 11th of May 2011 (Wed) at 11:50.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

Oh boy every wedding I go to I pray for cloudy days, I just never tell the bride.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

btw here are the SOOC jpegs from the wedding I was talking about.

On the left is the "perfect cloudy day light", on the right is a flash to fill in the holes that the overhead cloudy light leaves empty. Everyone has their own opinion, but I think the flashed shot looks better, with shadows and all. I'm sure the bride would prefer the flashed shot too.

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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

LLoyd for me your light is to strong. I would have used it as fill to just kick up the eye sockets a bit.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #12
airfrogusmc
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

Available light later in the day no flash heavy overcast.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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LLoyd for me your light is to strong. I would have used it as fill to just kick up the eye sockets a bit.
And for me I would have added light to your shot to fill in the under eyes a bit to get rid of the bags. A catchlight would make the eyes sparkle. A lower fill souce would also make the teeth a bit brighter and whiter. Point is, we all have our preferences to what we find important. I tried a lower light level but preferred the non-bag shot to the baggy ones.

Last edited by picturecrazy : 11th of May 2011 (Wed) at 23:00.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #14
airfrogusmc
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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And for me I would have added light to your shot to fill in the under eyes a bit to get rid of the bags. We all have our preferences to what we find important. I tried a lower light level but preferred the non-bag shot to the baggy ones.
And thats where we differ. I would never want to destroy that beautiful quality of light.
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Old 11th of May 2011 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

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And thats where we differ. I would never want to destroy that beautiful quality of light.
I totally respect your difference in opinion and style, but that doesn't mean mine is any less relevant or is incorrect. I personally don't find that light quality to be beautiful at all.
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