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Outdoor Portrait question #10457
09/12/07 12:11 AM
09/12/07 12:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Washington
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Dee Dee Offline OP
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Dee Dee  Offline OP
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Washington
I also got asked today to do a shoot with a woman, her husband and her dogs. She is a trainer and would like some outdoor shots posed with hubby and dogs as well as some of her working her dogs, the latter mainly for her web site.

I am not real experienced with taking posed portrait shots, I mainly like to do action where I don't get to choose or even need to think that much about where to place the subject since they are moving. Can anyone give me any tips on best way to set them up in the lighting? If it is a sunny day I would go late before sunset, but would I set them up facing right into the sun or should we go earlier in the day and find shade? Or if it's overcast some (which it might be next week when we do this) what do I look for, under trees in shade, and use the flash for fill? Reflector?

I have also just gotten asked to do several Akitas outdoors, I think everyone is panicking as the good weather goes and wants to get their shoots done. I'm doing 12 horses tomorrow too.

Thanks for any advice on the portrait stuff I have a fair handle on it but could still use lots of advice. I will have to practice some before hand.


My Web Site www.deedeemurry.com
Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: Dee Dee] #10458
09/12/07 12:44 AM
09/12/07 12:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Alaska
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DavidRamey Offline
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Do NOT pose them looking into the sun unless you want them to have squinty eyes. Look at the light you have available and see what faults it has, then use your flash to "fix" those faults. It the sun is bright and causing harsh shadows, then use your flash as a fill light to fill in the shadows. If the sun is NOT bright enough, then use your flash as the main light and the sun as fill light. If the sun is inbetween these 2 extremes, then balance the light sources to please YOUR eye. You have the skills and talent, now get the confidence and do the job.


David Ramey Photography
Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: DavidRamey] #10459
09/12/07 01:05 AM
09/12/07 01:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Washington
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Dee Dee Offline OP
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Dee Dee  Offline OP
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YEAY good advice and it makes sense. I will be taking my 580 EX out and practice a lot. I wonder if I'd look silly at the public park, taking photos of a blow up doll. The weather man says Friday is our last of sun, then the clouds and even some showers will roll in. That might be good for lighting though.

Thanks for this David, I think if I can get comfortable with the flash it will be easier to know the best way to use it in each lighting situation.


My Web Site www.deedeemurry.com
Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: Dee Dee] #10460
09/12/07 03:39 PM
09/12/07 03:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Florida
Dee Dee,
I like to shoot in open shade and use my flash, as David recommends, as a fill to warm up facial tones. I make sure not to have too much brightly lit stuff in the background because it will blow out when you balance for the people in the shade.

If you shoot under trees, be careful about dappled sunlight and make sure to use the flash. It will handle most of the shadows.

If possible, try to use a fairly large aperture to let the background go out of focus. That helps the people to pop off of the background.

You know what you're doing. Go and do a great job!

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: Jim Garvie] #10461
09/13/07 02:55 AM
09/13/07 02:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Colorado, USA
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Buddy Thomason Offline
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Colorado, USA
Chuck Gardner over on the dpreview forums is my guru on this and related subjects. Here's a link: http://super.nova.org/DPR/ Chuck is very clear in his explainations and very experienced. He was trained by none-other than Monte Zuckerman, the generally acknowleged father of modern portrait photography. Good luck!

Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: Buddy Thomason] #10462
09/13/07 12:55 PM
09/13/07 12:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Arizona
daveman Offline
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daveman  Offline
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Arizona

The way I handle outdoor portraits is to wait until those darn people move out of the way so I can take my picture.

I hope that is helpful!


See my stuff here davedilli.zenfolio.com
Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: daveman] #10463
09/13/07 03:50 PM
09/13/07 03:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline
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Julie  Offline
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TN
I don't use outdoor flash, mainly because the majority of my portraits are with horses, or ponies. I can't risk the off chance a pony will spook from a flash and hurt a kid. It is unlikely, but horses are large and unpredictable

I usually wait until the golden hour and shoot then. It is a short window and I do shoot them facing into the sun. It is usually low enough they are not squinting.

It is a short window of time and very weather dependent. Again, I am no master, it is just how I do it

Re: Outdoor Portrait question [Re: Julie] #10464
09/14/07 01:07 PM
09/14/07 01:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Washington
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Dee Dee Offline OP
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Dee Dee  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2006
Washington
Jim these are great tips. I made the mistake of bright stuff behind someone in shade a long time ago. It ruined the whole photo. No dappled light...another good one, I made that mistake with the gray Andalusian. I still have not had time to practice with my flash but I have to get out this weekend and practice!! I think that is going to be my best bet in this situation. Large aperture too is a good reminder, as I am reading this I am thinking yeay I do know much of this but often in the midst of things I forget to do some of them (and kick myself later). So I appreciate the refreshers!

Thanks for another great link Buddy! I read everything you send my way. I'll go over and soak stuff in!

LOL daveman...that is VERY helpful! Maybe the best advice yet LOL. I never have wanted to do portrait shots with people in them but I keep getting roped into this and that...

Yeah Julie I have yet too to have a horse even seem to notice a flash at least at shows where the OP uses one. But it could happen. I love the golden hour but we have very few of those here. This shoot is with 2 people and 3 dogs so the flash won't be an issue. Unfortunately, as happens every year at this time, you get nice sunny days and then one day the clouds roll in and that's it, fall is here, no more sun. That happened yesterday, I had to cancel my shoot with a bay Andalusian stallion yesterday. *sob* The day before I shot 12 horses in the beautiful sunshine, we had clear skies for over a week. Now it's much cooler, in the 60's, socked in clouds and no sun in the forecast at all. I don't shoot horses on overcast days because I hate the flat light and would not paint them that way, I need sun to make their muscles, etc read 3D. I don't mind the flat light for photo portraits though.

If we get more sun now it will be spotty and not something we can count on so my outdoor planned shooting is done. I love spring, summer and fall here but the winters suck and they seem to go on forever!

Last edited by Dee Dee; 09/14/07 01:10 PM.

My Web Site www.deedeemurry.com

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