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Author Topic: the problem of extreme sunlight  (Read 3924 times)

Offline Sarasocke

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the problem of extreme sunlight
« on: May 28, 2010, 12:31:22 PM »
Extremely bright sunlight is not an ideal condition for photography, but what do you do when there is no choice?

I was taking photographs of a confirmation on Sunday and it was a glorious day. The photos outside the church came out fine, there was quite a bit of shade around.

But ...
The family were insistent on have loads of group photos in every combination in the back garden afterwards. I managed to get everyone out of direct sunlight to stop them squinting, but there was nowhere for me to go. My lense hood was fixed and I could have had someone standing over me with an umbrella.

The family's quite happy with the results, but I'm not.

How do you guys solve this problem?


Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 01:19:12 PM »
Flash.  Lots and lots of flash.
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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 05:48:10 PM »
Yep - agree, flash.

Unfortunately that translates to money - lots of money.

Not sure how you'll get that past Herb  ::) :legit:

Offline Oldboy

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 07:37:19 PM »
Or you could used exposure compensation like -1 or even -2.  ;D

Offline nickt

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010, 09:21:09 PM »
By underexposing, you'll find the sky and background will be o.k. but the subject won't be. You then have to use fill in flash to balance the exposure.
Nick

Offline Jonathan

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 08:41:43 AM »
Or you could used exposure compensation like -1 or even -2.  ;D

It's not about exposure.  It's about contrast.
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Offline spinner

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2010, 12:47:43 PM »
You have that problem in Britain? :legit:
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
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Offline Sarasocke

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 03:48:19 PM »
You have that problem in Britain? :legit:

My problem was last Sunday here in Germany ;)

I managed to "rescue" the affected photos with a contrast adjustment in NX2, but I was annoyed no end.

Knowing a lot of you guys have professional shoots where the time and place can't be shifted, I thought I'd ask how you cope.
Lense flare popped up its ugly head too  :-[

So, I have one external flash (SB900) and in camera flash. And two lights which would need an electrical connection, so they mostly can't be counted on. I also need a set of filters and a new tripod. Andrew, you're right about the getting it by Herbert bit  8)

I guess I shall have to hope for some bright sunshine and get someone to pose for me while I practice flashing  :legit:
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 03:54:00 PM »
of course - the other option, which would be cheaper in the short term, would be a good reflector.

Unfold it and get some one to hold it for you...

Offline irv_b

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 12:40:32 AM »
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Don't count the days "Guest," make the days count!.

Offline Just Dave

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 09:22:09 AM »
Great link irv_b  thanks  :)
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Offline Sarasocke

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 11:09:59 AM »
Thanks Irv !

The problem I had wasn't shadows on the faces, but that the general quality was pretty awful.

Here's two examples :

Converted to jpeg from raw and cropped, otherwise no editing



here edited the best I can, mainly with contrast adjustments



Lense flare, a white plant pot and general bad quality.



In pp I've tried to remove the lense flare, I think that's ok. I've made the plant pot somewhat darker. Not too sure about the crop, whether I should have left in their legs or not.

Philipp's suit was a pin stripe, but on most photos it came out black.



There is a fair amount of noise on the photos, which I've reduced in pp.

In my own defence, I was absolutely shattered. We'd just got back the evening before from Cornwall after a 13 hour trip. I'd slept badly and I had a splitting headache. After the first photo, I should have gone somewhere darker, checked the photo in the display and got someone to shade my camera. At least I might have avoided the lense flare. As it was, I could see nothing because of the sun, and I was just too kn*ckered to move.

Totally unprofessional, I know   :-[
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 12:37:47 PM »
so in reality Carol - the problem wasn't the sun.

It was more to do with the 'tog' being short of sleep, knackered, splitting head and generally not really fit to do the job they had signed up for?

We all have those days.
 
No doubt some one will chip in and say being professional is knowing how to overcome those days.
For me, its on those days when you really on previous experience and operate on auto pilot - and as you haven't had bucket loads of experience yet...

No doubt you have learned loads from the experience - most importantly having a look at the location before the event so you can cover all bases according to weather and any last minute surprises on picture requirements  :tup:

Next time will be a whole lot easier for you  :beer:

Offline Eileen

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 08:12:38 PM »
The links below take you to some helpful advice on managing tricky outdoor light situations. Well worth a read for next time, Carol.

I'm currently revising my flash techniques as this day next week is my cousin's wedding in Kefalonia and I'll be busy snapping away. A good-looking couple, attractive setting, what could possibly go wrong?  ;) Will update you on my return...

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2008/06/13/into-hard-sunlight/

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2009/10/25/the-mid-day-sun/

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2008/05/11/straight-ahead/

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/04/08/balancing-flash-with-ambient-exposure/

Offline Sarasocke

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Re: the problem of extreme sunlight
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2010, 10:04:03 PM »
Excellent links, thanks Eileen.

I will certainly experiment as soon as the sun shines again.

At the moment we have rain, rain, rain.  :(
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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