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Thread started 27 Apr 2018 (Friday) 12:22
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Basic question about minimizing natural light flooding camera when the sun is low

 
kat.hayes
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Apr 27, 2018 12:22 |  #1

Using a 5dm3, I want to shoot some photos around golden hour with a toddler. The sun is low, though not low enough, so it seems to be flooding my camera with light. The toddler is not tall enough to block the sun with her head and there are no trees in the area to block light. I got on the ground and tried to shoot from the ground up, though the toddler's head was still not close enough to block the sun. The photo ends up being very washed out with lots of haze. What options do I have in this case? If I put the toddler in the other direction the sun light will be harsh on her face. Is my only option to use some type of diffusion over her head to diffuse the light?

Thanks.




  
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apersson850
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Apr 29, 2018 03:02 |  #2

Or use a reflector, or perhaps a flash, to lift the shadow and make the light coming from a different angle softer.
Bigger lens hood may work, unless you have the sun actually inside the image frame.


Anders

  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited 4 months ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Apr 29, 2018 04:51 |  #3

There's all kinds of ways to do it, just depends on what you want to lug around to accomplish it and how cooperative the child is. My methods have changed over the years.

If you're doing it with just the camera and natural light, you can simply under-expose so that you retain the sky (expose for the sky basically) and then lift shadows in post. You don't have to have the child fully exposed, just lift shadows enough to make out features and you get a more natural look anyways. And then just clean up some minor noise from a hard push and you're set.

You can use a reflector, but I find it awkward to use unless you have someone to help you or a stand. Even then, I find the reflectors can also be too bright during golden hour and look unnatural and cause squinty eyes. It can work, but personally I find it less useful for my purposes.

Fill flash (ETTL & HSS) is my go-to these days. I think we all shy away from the idea of flash because we're just not experienced with it. But once you really start practicing with it, it opens a lot of doors. Throw a CTO (1/4th) gel on it, and you can get close to matching temperatures enough to manage the rest in post. Even a bare flash is great here, as fill, it's not too harsh even in sunset golden hour light which is super hard light.

Here's an example from a really old sensor, just exposing for somewhere between the sky (though its still blown out) and the foreground, then lifting shadows mildly (no lighting, no reflector, using dynamic range to lift shadows):

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/606/20780378601_1a5a5562a6_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xEhS​zF  (external link) IMG_4852 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

I do it with AV mode, with it set to -2/3rds EC with partial or evaluative metering.

I generally use flash these days so that I can do more in harder light:

Fill flash (ETTL & HSS; this is bare on-camera flash):

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/32362515513_1cb5f25729_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RiLm​np  (external link) IMG_5207 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Full flash (ETTL & HSS; this is bare on-camera flash):

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4235/34937790193_294d990261_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Veki​NZ  (external link) IMG_6124 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Fill flash (ETTL & HSS; off-camera flash):

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4539/24921809418_45a57b2305_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DYfM​Fh  (external link) DSCF6463 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Just over fill flash (ETTL & HSS; off-camera flash with a 28" beauty dish):

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/40831445935_86f9d3c1a1_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/25d8​Qka  (external link) DSCF8797 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

I just prefer flash. This is often on-camera flash, and sometimes off-camera flash. Nothing fancy. Just a Flashpoin R2 TTL Zoom LiOn speedlite. Sometimes it's bare. Sometimes I use a reflector (I have up to a 10" reflector), sometimes I use a 28" beauty dish. I no longer use large modifiers. But when I want to go light, I just use bare flash and it's fine.

I still shoot AV, and I under-expose with -2/3rds EC set on evaluative metering on base ISO. I lift shadows in post as needed from there. So it's a combination of using dynamic range and fill flash to accomplish the task, with old hardware, and without big modifiers.

Some of my go-to's for quick lighting without having to have "setup time" and literally just hold things, are flashes on sticks with a small reflector, or a flash on a stand with a reflector. I often just hand hold something and aim it how I want, and then take the shot with my other hand. Or, mom helps and that's great too.

Flash on a stick for nice off-camera angles at close range:

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4238/35761960236_7b3ab3cbe7_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Wuao​Rj  (external link) IMG_0947 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Flash in a beauty dish on a stick for close range:

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/26862130287_a9c4036e8e_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/GVHr​tn  (external link) 20180426_193656 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Flash in a beauty dish on a stand for solo stuff (requires setup, but still super easy and lighter and easier to fool with than big 60" umbrellas and stuff in the wind).

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4519/38301581494_254759c16d_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21mz​BLJ  (external link) DSCF6667 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

I moved from light modifiers (umbrellas, softboxes) to hard metal stuff like reflectors and beauty dish because they can take a beating and are small and easier to deal with in the wind.

I have to keep it fast and light to do images with the kids.

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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digital ­ paradise
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Apr 29, 2018 10:47 |  #4

Flash and aperture controls subject exposure. Shutter speed controls ambient light. Scroll down and see the effects of changing the shutter speed while not effecting subject exposure.

Dragging just means a slow shutter speed.

https://neilvn.com …ues/dragging-the-shutter/ (external link)


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Basic question about minimizing natural light flooding camera when the sun is low
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