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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 10 May 2011 (Tuesday) 19:12
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how would you shoot portrait outdoor on cloudy day?

 
picard
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May 10, 2011 19:12 |  #1

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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bdpaco
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May 10, 2011 19:16 |  #2

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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picard
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May 10, 2011 19:18 |  #3

bdpaco wrote in post #12385874 (external link)
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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tim
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May 10, 2011 20:22 |  #4

That's perfect weather. Yes I use an off camera light in a small soft box, to provide directional lighting.


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Peacefield
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May 11, 2011 06:58 |  #5

tim wrote in post #12386280 (external link)
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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airfrogusmc
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May 11, 2011 07:11 |  #6

picard wrote in post #12385843 (external link)
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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airfrogusmc
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May 11, 2011 07:23 |  #7

Peacefield wrote in post #12388398 (external link)
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,




  
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picturecrazy
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May 11, 2011 11:46 |  #8

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.


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neil_r
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May 11, 2011 11:48 |  #9

Oh boy every wedding I go to I pray for cloudy days, I just never tell the bride.


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picturecrazy
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May 11, 2011 11:56 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #10

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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airfrogusmc
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May 11, 2011 20:03 as a reply to  @ picturecrazy's post |  #11

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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airfrogusmc
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May 11, 2011 22:55 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #12

Available light later in the day no flash heavy overcast.

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picturecrazy
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May 11, 2011 22:58 |  #13

airfrogusmc wrote in post #12392509 (external link)
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.


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airfrogusmc
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May 11, 2011 23:00 |  #14

picturecrazy wrote in post #12393483 (external link)
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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picturecrazy
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May 11, 2011 23:03 |  #15

airfrogusmc wrote in post #12393495 (external link)
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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