Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sunrise, sunset... Part 1

Good day to you!  I have been having fun this week taking pictures of my little model.  My daughter said she wanted to go outside and smile.  I thought it would be perfect.  I am doing a 3 part tutorial on lighting.  I thought about putting it all in one but decided it might be easier to focus on one thing at a time.  Both of my babies woke up at 5:30 am.  Yeah.  Well, I decided to use it to my advantage and got my daughter dressed and went outside for a sunrise shoot.  It is really beautiful in Arizona when the sun first wakes up, I loved it, but I am not making it a habit.  I will show you a few different lighting effects.  I showed you backlighting and I will show you again as well as some others.

What you will need:
A camera
a reflector or fill card (I bought a 20x30 foam board from Michaels for $2.80)
This was taken at 6:30 am, 1 hour after sunrise.  My best friend for times like these is, it will tell you to the minute when the sun rises and sets.  I propped the board up against the foliage.  Most of the shots were taken from just to the left of the board.

The top image is the SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot. The one underneath is the edited image.

First is split lighting.  One half of the face is lit while the other is dark.  This picture still has some fill from the foam board so it is not completely dark nor a true split, but I wanted to give you the idea.

Avoid having your subject stare into the sun.  It hurts.  You will not get a kid to smile without squinting or completely closing their eyes when they are facing the sun.  Try playing with the light.  Have it off to the side or behind your subject.  Even though this shot has the sun off to the side it is still too bright for her, thus the squinting.  What would have been better is to have a diffuser on her right softening the sun and making it easier to see.

This is the start of a silhouette.  I chose to fill her face with light but you get a really pretty glow outlining her cute little face.

Here, I am standing above her right over the fill card (foam board).  She is mostly backlit with the light (sun) just off to the side.  

Notice the catch light in the image on the left.  If your subject is looking at you it's good to have the eyes bright and not in shadow.  The catch light adds life and sparkle to your subjects eyes.

Post processing: I did the same thing to all of the images.  I used MCP actions again (, slumber party.  I played with the opacity on each one until I liked the look.  I used exact-o-sharp and sharpened her only.  That's it.

Next week we will look at how to make the best of poor lighting situations aka high noon.

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