While he was in Jeff Bennion’s workshop, Francisco Joel Hernandez captured a really interesting portrait. The photo is serene and almost surreal, with a model lying on top of a giant white ball. We wanted to know more about how he did it, so we chatted with Francisco about the shoot and he kindly shared a few images with DIYP.
With a heatwave rolling over America & Europe, photographers are going to be dealing with some pretty direct light. Here are some tips about dealing with harsh shadows and high contrast.
This blog is pretty good timing, as I have just come back from a shoot in the UK. 10 lucky winners in association with Sigma UK and Amateur Photography Magazine, had won the chance to come down to London and photograph two traditional Geisha (Mai Watanabe and Chiyono Watanabe.) I was asked to set up the shoot & help with the lighting as part of the day.
Photographing Geisha’s on a London Rooftop with the direct & bright sun was not ideal. But with some thinking, we worked out a set up that was pretty good. The main objective of the shot was to show the color of the face and keep the flat color tones. I wanted to show the makeup as much as possible. Getting the image as soft as possible while still showing the colors in the silk was another objective. The bright sunlight was very overpowering and creating deep shadows.
Taking portraits in bright sunlight has been a bit of a no-no for a long time but the truth is that you can actually get stunning results if you use a fill flash. The results look awesome and give a high-end feel to any outdoor portrait and the best thing is that it’s really not too difficult. You just need to understand how to use a fill flash.
Overpowering the sun with flash is typically something we typically associate with photographing people. But it’s a principle that scales down extremely well for photographing things like flowers, bugs and other outdoor macro subjects. In fact, it’s even easier to do with such small subjects because you can get the flashes so close to them, retaining more of that power. In this video, photographer Ed Verosky explores the topic, with lots of practical examples.
Trying to overpower the sun seems to have become a popular thing again lately. The go-to technique for these results is a fast shutter speed and high speed sync. But the limited power available in speedlights often falls a little short. Now, with more powerful HSS-capable strobes on the market, like the Godox AD360II and AD600BM, it’s become a more common look.
This look has been available for a long time, though, with the use of neutral density. These would allow you to shoot wide apertures in the daytime while keeping your shutter speed below the flash sync. In this video from photographer Levy Moroshan of sector5films we see how that technique works. Balancing the bright daylight with the flash, to make our subjects stand out with a shallow depth of field.