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Young woman in black hat

 

Example No.2

Overhead Sun and A Large Hat – Two Major Obstacles:

When the sun hovers directly above, deep shadows appear in the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin. To make matters worse, the lit portions of the face tend to be washed out. Add to the mix a hat that creates its own havoc-filled shadows, and the photographic nightmare begins. Thankfully, the fix is as basic as the pop-up flash on a DSLR, providing the photographer is close enough to the subject. As an instructor for the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy, I went to New York City for an orientation. During this orientation, one session included a photo shoot in Central Park with live models. I positioned one of them by an iron fence, as the setting matched her outfit.

As you might imagine, the light was horrendous because the hat created a strong shadow directly across her right eyebrow and left eye. I set the focal length of the lens on my Panasonic L1 DSLR to 50mm and moved in close so the pop-up flash would be strong enough to offset the harsh ambient light. I had to set the aperture to f9 because of the strong ambient light, but in checking the depth of field, this was not a problem in that the background was far enough away to throw it out of focus. I set the compensation on the flash to +2/3 so it would act more as a main light rather than a fill, which was necessary to overcome the shadow cast by the hat. Look closely at the image to see how the shadow line of the hat crosses just above the eyes but even the light is a result of using the flash and moving in close to overpower what would have otherwise been a poorly lit photograph.

Young woman in red sweater

 

Example No.3

White Reflector:

In the portrait of the girl in the red blouse, I used a reflector to bounce light back onto her face. The weather conditions included cumulous clouds in the sky. I took the photo when the sun just started to be obscured by one of the clouds. This provided directional, yet soft, light. The reflector kicked back just enough light onto the subject's face to make it the brightest part of the image. Without the reflected light, she wouldn't stand out as prominently, and soft shadows would have appeared in her deep eye sockets and under her nose.

To learn more about this topic, join me on one of my photographic nature tours. Visit www.russburdenphotography.com, and click on the "Nature Photo Tours" button for more information. Also, pick up a copy of my book, "Amphoto's Complete Book of Photography." A signed copy can be purchased directly from me, or visit your local bookstore or Amazon.com. Contact me at rburden@ecentral.com to order a signed copy.

Prepared by TakeGreatPictures.com. For more tips, visit www.takegreatpictures.com .



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