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Thread: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

  1. #1
    Member akszaksz's Avatar
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    Default Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    How do I take a portrait of someone who's back is facing the Sun?
    When i took those shots using AP mode, it's either thr person underexposed or the background overexposed.
    SO what should be the setting in order to do this?


    Meanwhile, i see people using flash for such situation, but when i tried using flash, the whole photo went over exposed. Do I have to use manual mode in order to use flash against sunlight?
    What will be the settings like too?
    http://www.akkuaphotography.com

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    get the beautiful sunlight exposure.

    in this case, the person face will be darker.

    use flash to light up the face to match the light intensity of the background(sunlight)

    use flash in manual mode. flash power diminish with distance.
    F60, D50, AFD24 2.8, AFD 50 1.4, MACRO 105 2.8

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by akszaksz View Post
    How do I take a portrait of someone who's back is facing the Sun?
    When i took those shots using AP mode, it's either thr person underexposed or the background overexposed.
    SO what should be the setting in order to do this?


    Meanwhile, i see people using flash for such situation, but when i tried using flash, the whole photo went over exposed. Do I have to use manual mode in order to use flash against sunlight?
    What will be the settings like too?
    Using a flash in this instance would help. If you are metering against the subject, chances are your background will be blown out.

    I normally set my camera to AP mode and external flash to E-TTL, enable high speed sync (if background is really bright), meter against the background, lock the exposure, recompose and fire off. I don't shoot a lot of outdoor portraits so I am not sure if this is the proper 'flow'. It works for me though

    Perhaps the more experienced photographers can shed some light here.
    5D3|1740L|70200F4L|40

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    Member akszaksz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by CasualSnaper View Post
    get the beautiful sunlight exposure.

    in this case, the person face will be darker.

    use flash to light up the face to match the light intensity of the background(sunlight)

    use flash in manual mode. flash power diminish with distance.
    icic, maybe i'll give that a try to use manual. Coz all along i was using E-TTL for flash auto and the whole photo went overexposed.
    http://www.akkuaphotography.com

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    Member akszaksz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimik07 View Post
    Using a flash in this instance would help. If you are metering against the subject, chances are your background will be blown out.

    I normally set my camera to AP mode and external flash to E-TTL, enable high speed sync (if background is really bright), meter against the background, lock the exposure, recompose and fire off. I don't shoot a lot of outdoor portraits so I am not sure if this is the proper 'flow'. It works for me though

    Perhaps the more experienced photographers can shed some light here.
    oh... I'm a total newbie using flash...

    During my wedding outdoor shoot (for my own wedding), the photographer uses flash under bright sunlight. i FORGOT to ask him to enlighten me... argh...
    http://www.akkuaphotography.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    the sky has to be darker or you must have enough flash power if it is bright
    F60, D50, AFD24 2.8, AFD 50 1.4, MACRO 105 2.8

  7. #7

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by akszaksz View Post
    oh... I'm a total newbie using flash...

    During my wedding outdoor shoot (for my own wedding), the photographer uses flash under bright sunlight. i FORGOT to ask him to enlighten me... argh...
    I am no expert either, but some basic understanding of how your flash works will be critical. Other than that it was pretty much trial and error for me when I first used an external flash.

    Call and ask your photographer? Alternatively you can check the exif data of your wedding photos
    5D3|1740L|70200F4L|40

  8. #8

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    consider the quality of your light too

    or you can always use a reflector.
    Last edited by CasualSnaper; 11th November 2010 at 05:10 PM.
    F60, D50, AFD24 2.8, AFD 50 1.4, MACRO 105 2.8

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    Member akszaksz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by CasualSnaper View Post
    consider the quality of your light too

    or you can always use a reflector.
    i've a 80cm reflector, but haven't really got the chance to use it yet =P


    Btw, any can roughly tell me how can i set my external flash to shoot it as a fill-flash?
    http://www.akkuaphotography.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by akszaksz View Post
    i've a 80cm reflector, but haven't really got the chance to use it yet =P


    Btw, any can roughly tell me how can i set my external flash to shoot it as a fill-flash?
    you will be better off with a 80cm reflector than a 5cm flash.
    F60, D50, AFD24 2.8, AFD 50 1.4, MACRO 105 2.8

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    In Nikon flash there is a BL mode for this situation... I am not sure of th Canon equivalent. Maybe bro mimik can shed some light?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    In Nikon flash there is a BL mode for this situation... I am not sure of th Canon equivalent. Maybe bro mimik can shed some light?
    I'm not very very well-versed with the Nikon system, but i believe E-TTL for Canon is the equivalent of BL mode for Nikon

    Anyone please correct me if I am wrong.
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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimik07 View Post
    I'm not very very well-versed with the Nikon system, but i believe E-TTL for Canon is the equivalent of BL mode for Nikon

    Anyone please correct me if I am wrong.
    Bro equivalent to E-TTL is i-TTL.

    Nikon flash can set to a special mode called BL (balanced fill). Even the SB600 has it. You can read more here:

    http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogsp...-bl-flash.html

    I am not sure if Canon as an equivalent, or if it is called something else.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 11th November 2010 at 10:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Member akszaksz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    I'm using Nissin Di866, haha
    http://www.akkuaphotography.com

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    Member kwanhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    for daylight flash shooting you would probably need to decrease the flash exposure compensation (FEV) accordingly... based on how much of the 'fill' you would want on the subject

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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    the term is called Backlighting

    google this word and u will get alot of advise on how to shoot in this situation

    for me , i keep it simple,..... i meter for the background so that it comes out nicely exposed and shoot with the flash tuned down 2-4 stops to light up the person.... or with/without flash, use a reflector to throw light onto the face
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  17. #17
    Member Alan Chan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    check out this youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwISm7C6fiY

    it helped me alot even before i got my light meter.
    Nikon D700| 70-200mm f/2.8G VR2| 28-70mm f/2.8D| 85mm f/1.8G| 50mm f/1.8G| SB900/SB28| MB-D10

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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    google for it......

  19. #19
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    The easiest method is to set to your dslr into Program mode and set your flash to ETTL-II HS and compensate to +2. The camera would usually select a small aperture which result in more DOF.




    else shoot manual (with ND filter) and trigger your off-shoe flash.



    The second method would allow you to use a bigger aperture than the first. Hope it helps...
    Last edited by Anson; 19th November 2010 at 12:14 PM.

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Portrait against Bright Sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by akszaksz View Post
    i've a 80cm reflector, but haven't really got the chance to use it yet =P
    Btw, any can roughly tell me how can i set my external flash to shoot it as a fill-flash?
    In the Canon equipment forum there is a sticky thread on top of the list, explaining Canon and flash systems. It's different from Nikon and it also works differently in various modes. P will give different results than Av.
    EOS

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