1950s Alley Shoot: Direct Sunlight & Open Shade
So we're here in the alleyway first well do I have my model's yet do you know where they are located um and while I talk about that okay so do you find whoever is on the camera right now panning around this alley um because I want to prove that it's not so pretty and the light if you look at my lovely attendees face is not so nice right now. Um and so what we're going to talk about for this shoot is I'm going to show you howto handle the not so nice light um and the not so perfect location um a couple ways to do this um our first ball handling the location we are going to try to shoot with lenses that go to wider apertures so in general I am going to be recommending you shoot at two point eight or wider and that way I can reduce the background so if I am focusing on ramona and I have her here I can shoot and so all of that you know, the garbage in the background those just become suggestions of color and blur and they're not distracting. Um another thing that we're going to do is use s...
ome light modifiers know show you how to modify the light in order to make it work for you we do have a really, really beautiful vintage car that is a very nice thing that we have in this environment, I've done shoots of vintage cars a lot in the past and I'm not exactly sure how creative life got this one but how I've worked in the past as I reach out and I contact uh like the local car collectors club or people that have this car shows I will go there I'll get business cards and collect and then we come either with I give them photos of the car or there's a small fee that we pay so I've done this several times in the past because of vintage car makes for a beautiful prop I think I saw the models peeking around the corner okay, guys yes. No. Okay, so the models that we have, uh we're stylin kind of ah preppy, elegant nineteen fifties shoot um and this is aleida, his high standing elita okay, so it's a lita and this is robbie um and so we're going to be shooting them today and I'm gonna show you how to modify the light so the first thing I'm going to dio is okay, so I put you guys all here, I'm gonna just make a little hole for a second beside me I just bear you real quick and have you come stand up against this wall, alright, so come stand literally up against the wall so problem here if you look at her face, is the mixed lighting right and the harsh highlights, harsh shadows so most people what they tend to do is they tend to grab a reflector and they tend to just try to overpower lee this kind what we talked about before they try to just overpower the shows you close your eyes, I don't mind I'm demo ing something, they try to just overpower the shadows and then you get this nasty highlight even if you try to feather it off so it's just an end it is not it doesn't work, so one easy trick or something that I will frequently do is instead of trying to fix that. Um, one thing I'll do is just get rid of overhead light. Um if the cloud come cover comes later, which were in seattle, so I'm assuming it will at some point so have a little bit shade. I'm sure at some point one of the things that I recommend is if you can eliminate overhead light in most situations, whether you are in shade or whether you in sunlight, there is overhead light even on overcast day, so what happens is you get kind of a shine on the forehead, shine on the nose and shadows in the eyes and so even though this is a much more extreme version on her because she's in sunlight so an easy solution is and I will have one point. Look, I just want to make you drive for camera um for a close up, this isn't going to work for a full shot. I will just block off overhead light. Okay, so let me tell you what's going on in this shot it is a delight is beautiful and I'm going to tell you why you blocked up overhead light so it's nice and even but then take a look at the floor here. This light colored neutral service is a giant reflector it's reflected that extends from her feet all way over to the other wall and so if you look on her light on the light on her face it's, just nice and even the thing you generally want to be careful with this there's a surface right underneath the subject. That's let sometimes you might get a little bottom light underneath so if I had a little bottom light right under neath from her feet I might take a black a piece of foam course and put it directly under to try to like even it out. So it's not quite from straight underneath her chin. The light is still frontal, so I'm going to take a few shots of that with probably with my eighty five millimeter, one point for um I'll step out a tiny bit from the background and so I'll just have you step like maybe two feet out good and so have you have told it sorry you're gonna get a workout the problem is if I do this and I pull her out now there's no shade in the background so it's all these things you're saying okay, so now what guy dio I'd probably return the rotate it long ways like that yes didn't get a little shit in the background as well input right up against the wall and so I'm looking for shade on her face shade on the wall yeah, there's screams, which we'll talk about later but I'm just going to take a shot and look, we're getting a little shade c I told you I knew okay, so I'm switching from a fifty to an eighty five for my portrait shot on location going to shoot at one point four um it's really bright outside so I am going to shoot high so one hundred and I'm going to probably shoot around I wish you appetite priority around too pointy to point out let's try one they're good perfect and I'm going to lean way way forward good and take one half step back and the reason I did that is you started lean out of the shade we had they're good and I had her lean ford take a look at that ok good um I had her lean forward in this instance so it brought her eyes closest to the camera I could focus my lens um at two point oh on her eyes and so I'm taking a look at it here there's still a little bit of directional light it's still brighter on this side but in general it's pretty even for pretty you like your styling isn't fun to play dress up actually really fun so I'm gonna take a couple of shots a couple headshots like that's cool so she wouldn't have to struggle too much um if I don't have what this is right here this is just a white piece of foam course so it's not anything especially you can get it you know what crafts shops or otherwise um crashed shops or otherwise but if you don't have foam core you can use a reflector over the head and so it's just blocking off it's literally meant to be a gobo two blocks with perfect awesome okay so turn sideways good lean towards me just a little bit and I'm gonna have you hold that on the other hand and then just touched the side your face real soft perfect just like that so whenever lean forward I'm using my focus points so I can focus on her eye ok good let's take a look at that nice good um something else you can do as well is you can actually do okay remember in the studio how we had the soft box above and then we have the reflectors below um I kind of its clam shell but it can also call it kind of sandwiching you can also block off overhead light and then you could also add a reflector if you want so it does make a difference because before the light right now it's it's kind of coming in from the open lights it's kind of coming in from the ground a little bit from the last in a little bit from the right but if I put this in front of her it is frontal like um so okay, how this usually works so you don't require a ton of assistance california sun bounce has a variety of it's called like the sun's water but it's on a pole so one person can hold the reflector or diffuser on a pole over top so I'm going to have you how you guys doing getting workout awesome see you thought that this is like, you know, they come to create a five and watch him no let's see? All right, ready for assistant number three ready okay, I was going to hold this right there um so when I'm watching is watched the light on her face if I go closer, I don't blame you if I go underneath the highlights are underneath her chin and underneath her nose, so I'm going to need it kind of more at an angle from here, sis bouncing a little light in so you have to compare these two shots to turn sideways again for me, the hand on the face real soft, just like you did perfectly and ford a little bit great, good, good so evens out the light just a little bit on the face if you flip back and forth between the two, you see it, so the highlights go from the signs two more in the front, so that is one solution to dealing with that type of lighting. Okay, I'm gonna do a couple more headshot what I'm going to do is just shoot for I'm going do this a couple times outdoors just shoot for maybe one minute without doing direct teachings, you can see how I might director and move her, so we really short, but I'm going to start when you do a couple really close ups with the one fifty, then I'll back up through a couple other shots so you could just see how I would direct the model a couple of shots that I'd be getting okay, all right, perfect some just have you look straight at me, chin out eyes right here, perfect, great good because I can get really really close they're gonna switch my lands now let me know if this is messing up the tether going to switch my lens this time to a fifty one for I'm still shooting retouch this lens I'm still shooting pretty wide open two point oh and now I can get kind of a mid length shot I'm gonna be a little just a little bit more and I'm gonna have to go like this good and I like these I'm gonna have you give me a little bit of negative space here so instead of standing kind of even do kick out a hip a little bit more and then lean hit back so what I had her do they're like we've talked about imposing she put the hit out just out to the side it's kind of square onto the camera when I had to kick her hip out and then lean back it pulls her hips away which makes her look more slender the hip out gives her a curve on the side hit back pulls the hips away from the camera good um and take one step this way good and there are highlights in the background but I might like them for texture and perhaps a little bit that way uh yeah like actual turn your body that like you got good good and now I kind of like that just a little bit elbow back and then looks like you're looking for something for your hand in there good and shut down a little and I look over at me good with her okay so I would shoot a little bit like that shoot a couple shots um all right so the next option of how to deal with oh yeah relax like okay um the next option of how to deal with really really really bright sunlight it's to put the back to some there back to the sun so one of you guys come around here for a second and you say in the street in the middle and face this way um so sometimes you might just have to accept the fact that the backgrounds going to be blown out um what I usually do is if I'm photographing a subject like this and I know that it's okay if it's late and areas kind of she's beautiful she's in white um she's backlit the ground behind her is light so it's going to be over exposed you khun try different angles like moving left and right and saying okay if I stand over here the shadow side of that buildings in the background so the background of the darker versus if I stand here it's kind of the highlights of this concrete behind her so ah lot of times when I have someone backlit I just try to figure out who want the background lighter darker it might be one foot either direction so I'll take a comparison shot real quick so you could take a look at the two different backgrounds her hair will be blown out. What my mind tells me is I will likely switch this to black and white anyway and so for me blown out highlights are much less offensive when you're shooting in black and white I could do fill cards but I'm going to just try it like this let's shoot one good. Yeah, just really, really proper uh maybe put your hands up like this and kind of hold on like super proper like this you just awesome that's fine. Okay, just like that. Good. Thank you. Alright, so take a take a step back. Just a little camera good, right? So I'm going to shoot at one point eight to try to reduce that background and I'll show you the two differences. Okay, so here's one good and we'll see how that background was kind of really, really light and blown out. If you're going for that, it can be okay on dh then if I shoot slightly differently now that sun goes away well, slightly different angle. Yeah, so, uh, son went away, I should say the different angle with the shade in the background it goes darker, but uh god gave a shame okay um here's another example are you ready for your hands okay I'm going to shoot the example to show you how there's still okay don't feel weird ready look straightforward ok looking at her face highlight highlight shadow um so you have two different ways you can handle this he put one right underneath your chin okay so here's option number one and just rotate a little towards her option everyone is this perfect okay that is their first option let me open up just a little bit a question we had before I do overexpose the skin so this right now I was straight on I was at zero compensation so I'm going to open up to two thirds of a stop over and that really gives me a little bit more light in the eyes and it does make the skin lighter so we do that quick good lean forward just a little bit of the chant again and try to bring her eyes closer to me so it's a little bit overexposed good alright and now do one shot without yes doing child look great on me okay so you conflict between the two you can see one with reflective one without and now block off over her head good and bring in a little bit lower perfect right there okay so you guys will see three drastically different examples using a piece of foam core not none uh, reflector underneath and reflector above. Um, you tell me when you have those up. Okay, cool. Um and so for me, when I'm looking at it, I personally in this example I like it when I just blocked off overhead. Look, it's sunny again by president like it was blocked off of her head. For me, the light is much more even. And okay, if you take a look when you see the three shot side by side the light didn't change in the in the ambience. It's say the same, but the background of the third shot with the phone call over her head looks way, way brighter, much brighter. The reason it since I put her face in shadow, I had to open up her head over exposed for her face because now it's darker and because I had to let more light in the background goes even lighter I personally like that one significantly better waiting for the sirens. Kagan so I think that one significantly better do you have a question? Yeah, we just had one question then j which is? Do you ever use a neutral density filter on your lens when it's so bright toe limit the bright light and get smaller f stops and the sun that's from len in charlotte, north carolina and then also do you do use any filters it all on your glass eye? I used to use a lot of filters when I was a nature photographer when I did that for fun I hardly ever use any filters at all and a lot of times when I'm on location I don't shoot and direct sunlight so I can still really get my no depth of field I do anything I can to get them in the shade to avoid direct sunlight so I usually can still shoot maybe not completely wide open but even right now if I go to one point four in this direct sunlight we see how it would it says here take a look so yeah, I can still shoot at one point for it just gives me a shot at one one two thousand five hundred of a second but my camera could do that so I don't really need to compensate for it. Um yeah in this late if you could get even if you compare those two shots there's drastic difference I really like the shade with the light blocked off overhead okay? And then, um where is your focal point where you focusing on in this scenario in this scenario I focused you really focusing on whatever I was closest but here there's no closer I so I focus on the eye on the left um that's just kind of where my focus point my thumb went to court so that is one way I'm gonna shoot a couple more shots can we take a little bit of a walk a little one are you guys gonna hate me and kill me okay all right what's that nico says yes you were guess kill me or yes I know I know okay good um so the other what I was saying is okay direct sunlight not so good you have an option you can put the sun that they're back you can try to block it off but the best thing to look for his open shade so we're going to go look for open shade real quick um and then I'm going to do a couple poses for her after I covered this natural light stuff and how to modify the light then we're gonna jump into posing storytelling fashion flare so we're gonna head down to that doorway that opening ok that door down there okay so step out into the sunlight for me okay and a little bit more even okay so tell me when you guys are good camera wise still good you got the whole thing of us trudging down here okay uh so if I look at the light on her face it's obviously mixed light um and so I'm always trying to look for something that is open shade and open shade means it's shadid on her face but not actually covered, eh? So for example if she stood against that building that's open shade it's not shadid like a tree or building overhead but there's no direct sunlight on her so you could do that another piece of open shade is that corner over here so I look over to this side there is a kind of nook that in the shade so I could shoot there actually think that's kind of nice open shade but even an open shade so I'm gonna back you up just a little oh uh going johnson stay keep backing up? Well, maybe not not okay, so even an open shade though uh she's still going to have those shadows in the eyes and highlights in the forehead so back up even more so this is still open shade again keep going a little bit more right there. Okay, so if you look at her face you see how you still have the highlights in the forehead. It's much, much more even um that's open shade but I can back her up to so she blacked out overhead, so take three steps back, don't fall, go back that way keep going so as I backed her up, go although don't don't hit the thing but like grab behind you and to step back there the more that I back her up if I put something over her head, it makes us a little light is not from above it's from straightforward and that's what fills in the eyes so I would probably find a way to get her in some kind of overhang. So I'll take a quick shot of that and if I look here, I don't want those bars coming out of the back of her head so gonna move her over a little bit this way. Ok, now, there's actually, son. Okay, good. Okay, I'm have you put your hand softly on the wall and come closer to it. Okay, good. And they just put up a little bit higher and relax your shoulder that's what? Your head that way and then put your hip a little bit more into the wall. Good. So I'm just looking there, I'm saying ok, what can I do to give her something to anchor her? I said before, if somebody is standing in front of a background it's a little weird so I'll have her maybe put her hand on the wall, climb even higher and it's kind of papa hip out so through that way yes, so it gives kind of curve gives me a leading line so it leads from the hand down the arm down the hip I'm down the legs perfect just like that I like your head down that way moving just a little bit and just have like a long line you might need to live it up good and look your head down and that direction maybe we see make it really I think it really relaxed so you're just kind of like you put your hand on your head do something so you feel comfortable? Okay good thanks good perfect and turned him away from me a little bit good just like that nice instead of putting her hand behind the back of her head kind of just a little bit right there good I hope your hand back down so I got as it was coming up and put it behind your head good but your arm in the front this time so what I'm doing is before I knew it would be our back when I had her arm back here it made it look a little wider open up her shoulders sewing for her arm in the front it kind of closes the pose down just a little bit okay just like that drink there and looked right at me first good, beautiful take a look it's great pop your hip even more one direction another made papa towards the wall yeah good everywhere and even more in front and drop it a little bit lower just like that good good and I'll look really happy night that's like kind of happy good and that look sad down to the side and head down good and then do one more where you bring your hand up we're kind of touching on put that hand your hand back on the wall but touch your left hand onto your pearls I do that all the time I'm always trying to figure out which side to tell the model I always say the wrong side good and turn your hand just a little sideways yes just like that and hand behind your head good and pop the hip out as far as you can that way good and looked down and suicide good perfect like I pose in her pose like that that was really good was shooting in her pose perfect something show you free san very sad in siri's then very happy okay so hear like isn't sad happy um so for me if I can find this type of situation um this kind of blocked off light this blocked off shade I it's doorway what light kind of window light so instead of just open shade find something to block off over their head and it gives you better light um so that's good for you do we have our groom? Okay, okay, you can see there just for a second so I'm gonna shoot him same thing with the light real quick you're gonna come over here, lean against the wall, be suave. You thinks love looks like okay, good. So you see the light on his face? It's still catching that overhead light, so I needed. Can you see that? A little bit. I'm gonna take a shot in the back. Him up. So it's there. Right there. Come a little closer, ford. All right, someone take two shots. One like this thing. Back up three. Good. I want to show you the exact same shot. Chin down a little. All right. So if you flip between these two shots, it gives you a little bit more even light on the face. Not too bad. All right, so I need to grab on top of that garbage can. My posing? I had like, this piece of paper. Okay. So basically, to summarize, when I have to deal with sunlight, I'll either hold something over their head. I'll put their back to the sun or I'll try to put them in shade on. And when. Something's ugly. Like an ugly kind of environment. Not no offense to the alleyway. Um, I'll show you a wide open aperture is why does it can to try to eliminate it?