How to shoot amazing portraits in midday sun with only one light

Jun 5, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How to shoot amazing portraits in midday sun with only one light

Jun 5, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

Harsh and bright midday sun is definitely not the ideal time of day for portrait shots. However, you can even out the light and avoid the unflattering shadows using only one light. In his latest video, Manny Ortiz shares a quick tutorial how to do it and make stunning portraits even in the bright sunlight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQheFEilIao&feature=youtu.be

For this video, Manny teams up with Jasmine Solaye to take her photos on a beach. He uses a Sony a9 with a Zeiss Batis 135mm lens. He only uses one light to even out the highlights and to get rid of the unwanted shadows. He attaches Glow ParaPop 38″ Portable Softbox onto a Flashpoint XPLOR 600. For triggering, he uses a Godox X1T wireless transmitter.

The key to taking portraits in the lighting conditions like this is placing the light on the proper side of the model. You can see on the ground where the shadow is. Have your model face the shadow, and then fill that side in with the flash.

Even when some of the highlights from the sun remain on the arms, chest, and legs, that’s okay. The flash will even it out, and it’s the most important not to have that sun light on the model’s face.

Typically, Manny has the flash at 45-degree angle from the sun. However, it’s not always possible. In some situations, the model’s hair can protect her face from the sun and put it in the shadow, so you can evenly fill it in with the flash.

Take a look at some more photos from Manny’s shoot, and see how they turned out. Remember, it’s essential to keep the model’s face in the shadow and fill it in with the flash, and you’ll be able to pull off great headshots even in the midday sun.

[How to take AMAZING portraits in the harsh midday sun | Featuring the Sony A9! | Manny Ortiz]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 responses to “How to shoot amazing portraits in midday sun with only one light”

  1. Mike Aubrey Avatar
    Mike Aubrey

    He’s got the Chicago skyline as his background and he just shoots wide open the entire time?

    1. shahnyboy Avatar
      shahnyboy

      The main issue of shooting under BDE condition is needing lots of flash power. Closing down even a 1/3 would mean the flash having to work that much harder.

      The tightly-cropped photos tell me the flash is fairly close to the subject — the video could prove me wrong.

      1. Mike Aubrey Avatar
        Mike Aubrey

        There are any number of ways to control for that though.

        Wasting a world class skyline as a background is just a bad move. He should have planned better.

        1. bartom Avatar
          bartom

          Why would you want the skyline competing for attention with the model. He did the correct exposure.

          1. Mike Aubrey Avatar
            Mike Aubrey

            If you can’t figure out how to balance a background with a subject so that they don’t compete with each other, then you’ve got bigger problems.

            But all of this is just my opinion. We all make judgments about the photographs we look at. We don’t need to agree with each other. To each his own!

    2. Jonathan F.V. Avatar
      Jonathan F.V.

      I don’t necessarily agree that the skyline should have been in focus. It’s very recognizable anyway, especially on that shot, and I like that it’s darker and out of focus:

      https://www.diyphotography.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DSC02034-Edit-2.jpg

      Artistic choices, man. Not everyone will agree. I like it, tho.

      1. Mike Aubrey Avatar
        Mike Aubrey

        I get artistic choice. This is both his best one and his worst one.

        On the one hand it does a great job balancing the city with the subject (his location of North Ave beach was a good choice) and framing her between the verticals is a really excellent choice!

        One the other hand, chopping off the top of the spires of the Hancock building is a decision that I find really distracting.

        But you’re right! This is all just my opinion. I have no expectation that everyone should think the same. What a boring place that would be.

        1. shahnyboy Avatar
          shahnyboy

          The entire set is a collection your standard, has-been, “glamour” shoot. Critiquing it like you’re about to purchase a todd hido print is kinda silly.

          1. Mike Aubrey Avatar
            Mike Aubrey

            There are a lot of silly things in the world, I’m afraid. I’m sorry I disappointed you.

            But then, being bothered by someone else expressed opinion on the internet so much so that you just had to correct it, that’s silly, too.

          2. shahnyboy Avatar
            shahnyboy

            Do u like hearing yourself type?

          3. Mike Aubrey Avatar
            Mike Aubrey

            I know. I’m terrible.