Outdoor portraits using high shutter speed sync

The downside to shooting in the shade of trees is the greenish cast that comes from sunlight filtering through green leaves. Shooting in camera raw helps.
The downside to shooting in the shade of trees is the greenish cast that comes from sunlight filtering through green leaves. Shooting in camera raw helps. ISO 400 1/160 @f2.8 80mm setting on 80-200 zoom lens. Available light only not Speedlite used.

When photographing people  outdoors, besides the esthetics of your location,  the time of the day is probably the single biggest factor in determining how good your picture will look.

Lighting especially its intensity is critical because available lighting in any scene outdoors determines

  • if your subject will be squinting
  • if you can overpower the ugly patchiness of your background
  • if you can control the contrast between your shadow and highlights
  • the mood and color temperature of your final image

Stephanie in the shade

Scarves are a great accessory to quickly get another look of your subject. I converted this image into a duotone image in Lightroom. My key light is on the right. There is a silver reflector on the left to create some separation between Stephanie and the dark background.
Scarves are a great accessory to quickly get another look of your subject. I converted this image into a duotone image in Lightroom. My key light is on the right. There is a silver reflector on the left to create some separation between Stephanie and the dark background. ISO 200 1/400 sec @f2.8 50mm 1.4 lens Canon 7DMark2

When I photographed Stephanie, we had arranged to meet around 9 am.

It’s actually late to be shooting outdoors because the sun is already quite high in the sky and pretty much everything is lit, just like the stranger at White Park.

So I knew my best bet would be working in the shade of the canopy of trees.

Here's a behind-the-scenes picture to show the lighting and conditions. The Photoflex Octodome has 2 Speedlites aimed inside. The silvered reflector was used to help create separation between Stephanie and the dark background where needed
Here’s a behind-the-scenes picture to show the lighting and conditions. The Photoflex Octodome has 2 Speedlites aimed inside. The silvered reflector was used to help create separation between Stephanie and the dark background where needed

I also knew I  would be using my Speedlites in HSS or high shutter speed sync mode.

Keep in mind that Speedlites even at their full power (4AA batteries and I was using 2 Speedlites) have no hope of overpowering the sun so we stayed in the shade to minimize the effects of the bright sun .

We switched scarves and I overpowered the available light even more. ISO 200 1/400sec @ f2 50 mm lens
We switched scarves and I overpowered the available light even more. ISO 200 1/400sec @ f2 50 mm lens

Peter Phun Photography

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