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Shooting at Noon

Lesson 14 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Shooting at Noon

Lesson 14 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

14. Shooting at Noon


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Principles of Light


Speedlights vs Strobes


Compressing the Scene


Location Lenses and Lenshoods


Metering Modes and Back Button Focus


Natural Light Reflectors


Lesson Info

Shooting at Noon

in this particular section we are going to talk about what we've already talked about it's it's half summary and more like giving yourself a step by step this is whatyou dio if you're shooting at noon and there's no shade no at all anywhere so I am sure some of you out there have photograph maybe a wedding or an event where they decide that the the appropriate time to get married is noon in the middle of the field with no trees um and then you're supposed to do the portrait after and you're like okay great s o we're going to talk about what options you have for that then we have shooting at noon with shade and just you know later on we do have a segment about shooting groups with natural light so I'll let you know that's coming up but that'll be just a little bit later so let's just watch this video so you've talked to your subjects and you've told them the worst time of data shoot is at high noon instead you want to shoot at golden hour you want to shoot late in the day and they won't...

listen to you and you have no control but you have to shoot at high noon so this segment what I want to do is briefly cover the different options you have for lighting in the middle of the day at high noon so let's start with the worst case scenario is that you don't have any shade anywhere it's a big open field in the middle of the day what do you d'oh all right well the very first thing that you would ideally dio is have a diffuser because then what you can do is you can soften the light on their face so we're just gonna go quick through everything we already talked about today all the different tools and how they apply to shooting at high noon so first let's check out this diffuser and we already talked about this tool this is the tool I recommend the westcott seven foot shoot through umbrella so we're going to stop in the light when you pull it away real quick I'm gonna get a before and after and go ahead great and bring it as close as possible but lean it towards me a little bit it's not in the back my frame great beautiful okay so huge difference in the quality of light there if you've got a diffuser awesome to head this way just a little bit of one two one more turning her head towards that sunlight perfect great and if the light wasn't ideal in her face you can go ahead grab a reflector and you could even have her hold it you hold it right there for just a little bit of fill a little bit more catch lights great perfect liquor here beautiful so let's assume it's the middle of the day high noon you don't have your diffuser or if you do maybe it's small and you have five or six or seven different people you after four maybe it's that wedding out in the middle of the field with no shade so what do you do if you can't use your diffuser so at minimum what you want to do is what we just did it is to turn your subjects back to the sun so at least they're not squinting at least they don't have that really harsh light on their face now in many instances you actually have some kind of natural reflectors that'll fill in light from the face and you want to look for that you want to make sure you look for the large white wall or you look for the white moving van or perhaps it's a wedding maybe look for the white side of a church that is reflecting that light back in this instance we have a little bit of phil on her face which it's not ideal light but it's actually reflected off of this greenish brownish grass here filling in so it's not completely dark on her face but unfortunately the problem that you run into is that dynamic range um how far apart the exposures are the light and her hair is very bright the light on her face is very very dark if you take a shot you're not going to be able to capture it all unless you use your reflector we've talked about this in length so let's see in practice in the middle of the day and we're going to take silver first and when we hold that silver up and when have you looked just this way I'm gonna grab a couple shots and catch a little bit more like okay so she had a nice and feathered so it's not too harsh on her face give me just a little bit more a little more and a little bit more good perfect so what I'm looking for is if we had just a little bit of light to this scene her face is still going to be dark but it will be better illuminated there won't be as much exposure difference between her face in the background but unfortunately her hair will still be over exposed now if you have a diffuser you could bring that diffuser in diffuse her hair from behind and then add a reflector from the front but let's say that what you're really trying to do is make sure that hair isn't wildly over exposed what you would actually have to do is have a lot of reflection instead of feathering like you usually do you would add a lot of light using a silver reflector it's gonna pump a lot of light in her face and even out maybe not completely but even out the exposure between her face and the light on her hair so I'm gonna show you how that works the downside of course is that reflector is not always flattering it's very includes very spectral us it creates a lot of great highlights in her face and it's a little bit harsh not ideal let's let's bring that in so let's see here's without me do without real quick without great and now give me a lot so much as you can silver and silver should give me a ton okay so if you look notice she is squinting because it's bright but if you look now that light on her hair is not as over exposed so when we meet her for her face it's going to under expose a little bit mean it's going to basically close down to compensate for that bright light which means that the light on her hair will also appear darker so by evening out those exposures adding more light to her face it helps us get at her shot even at high noon when we just have the light to the back of her hair later in the day of course this would be much more pleasing but at high noon this is what we have to work with now the downside to this of course is that silver reflector is very very hard has very bright highlight since not ideal for the skin so what you could do instead is use that silver reflector what we're going to have to come in much closer and it's not going to be a really ideal or possible to get a full length this small white reflector so white please nice and close he is without and then move in really close and here's with and turn your head towards the light just a little good so you'll notice the white is definitely a lot less powerful but it is much more flattering to the face and at high noon if I want to go ahead and get a full length shot I'm gonna have to go in and just like we talked about before grab that large reflector so we can get more head to toe coverage and if we need her out of the frame our assistant out of the frame we're going to need the silver so that we can have a little bit of distance we're going to take a look at that real quick and those are what you do these air the steps of what you take if you just have no shade insight whatsoever can't good and it's gonna be a little bit of film good perfect greats right there and now I can get three quarter length were fooling shots something else that you want to try to dio when shooting at high noon as well is check behind your subject if I'm shooting this way it's very very bright and so I'm gonna have overexposed highlights because it's the middle of the day but instead if I can change my angle a bit to maybe get the dark shadid trees behind her it's going to prove the overall look of the scene so it's going to move over this way just a bit same phil perfect great and chin down a little great all right so just to take a look at some of the different types of images we could make during that scene you know here we've got the seven foot shoot through umbrella gives you that nice diffuse light but you know it's not that arise I didn't have quite the poppet needed so this is putting a reflector underneath a little bit of white just to improve the catch lights but if I want a little bit more separation a little bit more pop more of a contrast e photo I can come over here put her back to the sun and I liked the white reflector better for her skin is just a little bit softer wrapped around a little bit so this is going to be high noon when you do not have shade but I'm going to continue on and show you when you do have shade and then we'll take all of the questions for the person who asked about the uh blocking off overhead that's what this is this is a black piece of foam core overhead I like how this is her head of last piece of foam core overhead and then a white piece of foam core to the side to give her that direction of light what from court to ninety nine three ninety nine uh and it's nice clay keep him in the car and you could definitely do this with black side a reflector um over top and then like the pizza box thing so this is what I was talking about for phone court in case someone internationally doesn't know what film korans it's basic like thick poster board this one it's white on one side and black on the other so I'll take two pieces of this I don't want to break this but I'm like can you break this okay good um in my car I would often keep a piece of white foam court that was bent in half and this also creates very nice light if you're going to photograph a woman you want really glowing light um you could use over the overhang having covered shade and then kind of pop this underneath for a little bit of light or even just open shade even in the middle of the day something like that I could create my shade grab my piece of foam core underneath and it just gathers lights and gives me a little bit of more popeye do this in the studio a lot when I want to have the light kind of wrap around the cheeks and be really really flattened glowing this is not the ideal situation for shooting at high noon what's better is if you can find shave and so let's assume now that we have shade so what I would ideally d'oh it's just put her in the shade so I'm gonna back you up and have you stand in the shade of that tree now if you can check this if you notice this this is what we talked about before it's open shade not covered shade so above her head there is no overhang there's no trees there's no covering and so it's not going to be exactly ideal lead on her face definitely going to have a little bit of highlights on the nose and forehead a little shadows in the eyes but it is improved from being in direct sunlight and of course now I have a lot less to worry about with those blown out highlights on her hair I've compressed the scene by putting her in the shade so let's take a look at what that looks like with no reflectors great and looks straight at me actually the light is not bad because of this big reflective surface the biggest problem is that it is green well what do you do up even if I take a custom white to be correct got the blue light of the sky above and also the green what's going to be mixed so instead all you have to work with is adding a reflector so can I bring the reflector up here and I'm gonna reflect a little bit late in from the edge of the shade so just kick a little bit of light in there for me perfect greats and they get down low again and now we've gotten rid of a lot of that green and we've really compressed the scene taking her out of the sun put her in the shade I added a little bit of light to improve the color the quality and then also the direction of light in this particular scene that I've analysed here this is what I have access to I could put her in the shade I can use the diffuser reflector but depending on the environment you're in a couple of the things that you would ideally look for when shooting at high noon would be covered shade so that might be a porch or a doorway or something that blocks off over top of the subject's head it's going to even out the light and make it much more or flattering something else that you would look for is a large natural reflector like a large white wall or a large neutral surface balancing the light from the sun another tip that I picked up along the way if you don't have a reflector you don't have a diffuser you don't even have shape is that you can actually make your own if you have to and this is assuming you really have nothing with you if you have a white piece of foam core or how about a white surface like anything that is white and neutral and perhaps something that is black a black solid surface you can actually block off over the subject's head and then fill in from below with a little bit of a reflector so I called this sandwich in the light this is something you can do if you have no other options so I'm gonna bring you forwarded to start real quick so assuming I have no other tools I'm going to block off overhead try to block out some of that light and add a reflector underneath where I could add a reflector a little bit from the side to give more ideal light on the face and look up at the camera for us perfect so this is one of those do it yourself if you don't have anything else ah white surface in a black surface you can make your shade and fill it in until their effete block down good and I'm gonna actually I'm going to fill this I'm going to try this from here just a little bit of film let's try it from right there great oh beautiful catch lights in the eyes that's great beautiful so I could definitely shoot this at high noon create my own shade and fill in for you glowing like I actually think this is one of my favorite shots from the bunch and it's with using what four dollars white piece of foam core and a black piece of foam core all right guys so let me just see before I move on the rest of the day is going to be doing groups and overcast lei and a little bit more about analyzing the scene driven e lingering questions hanging around before we move on there's a question right there excellent this may be a little broad but it seems like I mean with all the different things the umbrellas and the reflectors and if users what is what is it if you're just going to go out on location and you're looking for light and that what do you do take with you I mean versus like I concede like bringing like your truck and your trailer with all the stuff no I think that is an awesome question and most of the time I take a thirty two inch silver white reflector and nothing else if I want to be carried like traveling light that's like the essential if I know I'm shooting at high noon or in a place where I can't get shade then I stick in that umbrella to make it easier on myself but those were like the must have and it build if I know I'm photographing a group of people then I'm going to need a bigger reflector a bigger light source but a thirty two thirty two forty inch reflector as long as I have silver and white I can get away with that and I often dio so it's actually not bad at all good question all right if we don't have any more I think one good one tall ackles says how do you photograph a group of people under covered shade of vegetation I know we're gonna be covering groups here but I think the interesting thing talking about is shade from vegetation for example people under an arbor or ramada with vines the speckled light is never flattering on faces okay so it's a great question and having that money building a new evil see evil like okay uh it's also called dappled light when it's uneven that is a huge pain like there is really not an easy way around that especially when it's a group of people photographing a couple people you just move them until it's not there I photographed under an arbor before where I had a background in my car and put up over the harbour to block out the light overhead I've done that there's not there's totally not an easy solution the best you can try to do is get the dappled light on their hair at least so it's on their head and then pump in enough natural light using a large silver reflector to try to even out the exposure so that that those bright highlights are obnoxious but yeah if you can avoid dappled light dio and actually iris one of my assistants when we were shooting that last segment so there's dappled light coming through the trees and she said you know when that happens to me I have it on the face all the time and you know I kind of by instinct I'm watching for and I move her around so I'm just trying to ease this dappled light I'm just trying to get on her hair and actually looks nice that separation from the backgrounds

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter...I learned so much.....I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. Jean


Lindsey Adler is one of the best and most engaging photography instructors in the USA. I highly recommend this lighting course. It felt more like a 101 and a 102 course than just a basic course. She teaches in a way that makes learning alot of fun and the amount of time & effort that she puts into her video and class presentations are second to none. Her classes are well worth their weight in gold and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!


Lindsay is amazing , I love the way she explains everything!! This course is filled with GREAT information and helps you better understand natural lighting,strobe and flash. Thank You Lindsay, please keep your classes coming!

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