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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Kids & Family 
Thread started 11 Jul 2011 (Monday) 22:41
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Help with outdoor lighting

 
bonnielauper
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Jul 11, 2011 22:41 |  #1

(I realized after I posted this that "kids and family" isn't exactly the best forum for a lighting question, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to move the post, or even delete it....so here it is, and if you can help me with moving it or deleting it, that would be great too...)

I have only done a few outdoor shoots so far, and I have been surprised how difficult it is to get the lighting right and get sharp shots. When the overhead sun is too harsh, there isn't enough light in the shade. I have tried using some artificial lighting, and can keep experimenting with that, but I wondered if you people could give me some tips on how to best use natural outdoor lighting. Here is an example of a shoot I did in the evening last week. The light was beautiful, super diffused and a bit golden, but there just wasn't enough of it (it was about half an hour later than I wanted it to be, so maybe that's part of it). I opened the aperture wide and so of course none of my shots were very sharp. I was using the 85mm/1.8 and the 50mm/1.4. No flash. Here are a few shots (which I have sharpened a bit, so maybe you won't see how soft they were to begin with, but my question still stands about how to get sharp outdoor shots...).

1.

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6026/5928993040_e8fd4e805e_z.jpg

2.
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6026/5928434347_48ee885f8b_z.jpg

3.
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6013/5928432535_5797e2c289_z.jpg

4.
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6143/5928431553_9ac9c7914c_z.jpg

5. Here's one where it's obvious...
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6138/5928426871_33bfc9d3c2_z.jpg



  
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Maureen ­ Souza
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Jul 11, 2011 23:54 |  #2

Well there are several solutions to this. First, use a tripod, lower your shutter speed a bit and increase the aperture. I don't know what camera model you are using but the newer models all do great with the higher ISO numbers and that will give you more light and let you increase your DOF.


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rick_reno
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Jul 12, 2011 10:47 |  #3

very nice, 5 is my favorite




  
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gonzogolf
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Jul 12, 2011 11:00 |  #4

You have two options. Either only shoot when the light is good, or supplement the available light with flash or a reflector. Take a look a the off camera hotshoe flash and single strobe threads. You might see what a difference it can make for you. My favorite aphorism is "the best available light, is the one you bring with you".




  
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Kristy
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Jul 12, 2011 21:03 |  #5

It's not so much that the image (large one shown as example) is out of focus.. . It's just that when you shoot wide open your depth of field is inches.. So it is difficult to get both eyes in focus, and if you wiggle at all.. your focus will land somewhere that you didn't intend it to.

Try to stop down to about f.4 or 5 if you can... and keep your shutter up 1/125th or so depending on your personal ability to hand hold a shot. From there try using your ISO to make up the differences that you need for the light you are trying to capture... Sometimes we have to sacrifice grain in order to get the light we want.

I crank my ISO up to 2000 or more often. The benefit for me shooting natural light is the ISO capabilites of my camera... Not sure what you are shooting with, but it might be worth trying up to 1600. If your exposure is spot on, the grain wont show up in print as much as it does on screen.

If you can get your hands on a cheap reflector... you can use it to bounce some additional light back into your scene I do it often... also I bounce my flash off of things, reflectors, white t-shirts, walls, anything that might push a little light forward toward my subject. It works. :)


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bonnielauper
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Jul 13, 2011 12:25 |  #6

Thanks, everyone. I have a reflector but don't really know how to best use it. Do you put it on a stand? I also have some decent lighting gear (off-camera flashes, umbrellas, softbox) which I was kinda hoping to not have to lug around outside....

I wil definitely try increasing the ISO next time so I don't have to use such a shallow depth of field....I only have a Rebel XSI, but it can probably still handle shooting at 800...




  
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Tiger_993
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Jul 13, 2011 13:54 |  #7

bonnielauper wrote in post #12751950 (external link)
Thanks, everyone. I have a reflector but don't really know how to best use it. Do you put it on a stand? I also have some decent lighting gear (off-camera flashes, umbrellas, softbox) which I was kinda hoping to not have to lug around outside....

The easiest thing to do is put the reflector on a human stand, i.e. have the mom or dad hold it for you, or have a friend of the subject hold it, if they brought someone along with them.


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Help with outdoor lighting
FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Kids & Family 
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