Portraits in Bright Light

September 22, 2009  •  Leave a Comment
Taking portrait in bright light is quiet tricky & most of the time photographers avoid to take images in such conditions. The major reason for this is the harsh light creating unpleasant shadows, bright highlights & more contrast.
 
Sometimes it is unavoidaMan with umbrella ble to do so & you may miss really good shots. The simple tricks which can be used under such circumstances.
Try to use a shade if available nearby.This will provide you for getting nice exposure & soft light.

The image on the left is taken in afternoon in open space. I kept the person in the shadow of vehicle which really helped me to get rid from harsh lights & shadows.

I was to take portrait of a villager & I noticed he was having the umbrella with him. I requested the person kindly use it. It helped me not only for getting good exposure but also composing the image. It is good practice to put an soft white umbrella in your gear box if possible. Somebody can assist you by holding it for creating shade with soft light.
 
Use your flash light source as secondary light source & ambient as prominent light.Try to use fill flash wherever needed. Use flash compensation for reducing the power of flash & keeping your subject exposure with the ambient light. If shadows in background of subject by use of flash is unavoidable then prefer dark backgrounds in the shade. Try to keep more distance between your subject & the background.
 
Using the sun in the background of model may give nice back light as well as a comfort to the eye of the person otherwise you will struggle with blinking/closed eyes of the person. In portrait photography it is most important that your subject should be completely comfortable.
 
Using reflectors is also a nice way for adding the fill light. You can also try to experiment with high key effect.
 
Practicing will make you comfortable to take images in bright light, it's a bit challenging but you will not miss shots in future. You may also explore very soon to get some environmental portraits rather than preferring the shade always :)

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