Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Site news and information > Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads

Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads A new e-Group area for all the wonderful tutorials and helpful threads put on here by our members. Tutorials on using software, camera hardware - and feel free to request a tutorial if you need assistance!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 26th March 2014
OlyPaul's Avatar
OlyPaul OlyPaul is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 5,470
Thanks: 140
Thanked 720 Times in 579 Posts
Likes: 177
Liked 875 Times in 355 Posts
OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

The quality of lighting is paramount in outdoor natural light portraiture and here I hope to show how it can be achieved without reflectors or fill in flash even on the brightest sunny day.

You can off course always correct bad lighting in post processing but getting it right makes it less work and always looks better.

Now in my opinion when some one says a overcast sky or open shade is best for outdoor portraits I tend to disagree, true they will need less work then bright contrasty light but will still be prone to dark eyes (panda eyes).

Bright midday sun


Grey very overcast sky diffused light.


As you can see even the diffused sky light produces the top lighting that causes panda eyes.

All of these following examples were taken round midday on very bright summer days. I actually prefer these conditions as when you modify the light by looking for where the light is right you get a effect that is not unlike the large soft boxes used in a studio.

The thing to do is to find natural or man made objects that prevent the light from coming directly overhead and filter the light onto the subject from a lower angle rather than coming from overhead and positioning your subject accordingly.

Now for a few example, the first few are not taken in exotic settings but mundane places like you garden.


Here I simply used a patterned bed sheet that was hanging on the clothes line in the garden to stop the bright overhead sunlight and use the open sky as a soft box.






This one of chelsea was taken at my sons house on a hot summers day where there is no natural shade (new house and garden), in fact it was taken at the same time as the one of chelsea with panda eyes in the paddling pool.

So I took her to the front of the house and positioned her just inside at the front of the narrow gully way between the new houses which acted as large directional soft box.





Something as simple as a large garden umbrella works just as well and is portable.



These next two were taken at Himmly Park a few good years ago and are of two female work colleagues who wanted some pics taken, again a bright summer mid day without a cloud in the sky.

Here I used a tree canopy to filter the light where I wanted it.
If it had been a overcast day I would have positioned her near the extreme edge of where the tree shade starts to intensify the lighting.





This one is little more complicated and the diagram does not do it justice,it is Himmley Hall in the park grounds, There is a large stone overhang that runs along the side of the house and his held up by large stone pillars.

Here I had directional light from the front and the side and using a long lens made the pillar behind her appear closer without seeing the bright daylight between the pillars.





I hope this gives you some ideas and proves for good portraits you do not have to put the camera away on bright summer days.
__________________
Regards Paul.
One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_silk/
Reply With Quote
The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to OlyPaul For This Useful Post:
Anne (26th March 2014), Bikie John (26th March 2014), cliff (3rd April 2014), Dan in NC (28th March 2014), drmarkf (1st March 2015), Graham_of_Rainham (26th March 2014), gregles (26th March 2014), Mrs T (27th March 2014), Olybirder (26th March 2014), OM USer (28th May 2014), PeterBirder (26th March 2014), Phill D (27th March 2014), Scottwin (29th March 2014), sdb123 (29th July 2015), stoates (26th March 2014), timg (31st March 2014), Wee man (26th March 2014), Wreckdiver (12th May 2015)
The Following Users Liked This Post:
rawclicks (24th April 2014), Wreckdiver (12th May 2015), ZulSim (19th May 2015)
  #2  
Old 26th March 2014
Zuiko's Avatar
Zuiko Zuiko is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Dunmow, Essex
Posts: 19,736
Thanks: 1,848
Thanked 2,798 Times in 2,153 Posts
Likes: 2,526
Liked 3,356 Times in 1,575 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Thank you Paul, you are a genius. I think this is the best lighting tutorial I have ever read, not least because your technique does not rely upon expensive and complicated accessories, just natural daylight and an understanding of how to use it. Your descriptions are clear, easy to understand and greatly enhanced by the simple diagrams. I'm sure that many of our members will find it as helpful and enlightening as I do.
__________________
John

"A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Zuiko For This Useful Post:
Chevvyf1 (26th March 2014), OlyPaul (27th March 2014), PeterBirder (26th March 2014)
The Following User Liked This Post:
Olybirder (26th March 2014)
  #3  
Old 26th March 2014
Bikie John's Avatar
Bikie John Bikie John is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wessex
Posts: 3,079
Thanks: 162
Thanked 515 Times in 452 Posts
Likes: 251
Liked 427 Times in 289 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

That is fascinating, and your results speak for themselves. Many thanks Paul.

John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 26th March 2014
gregles gregles is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 3,176
Thanks: 615
Thanked 396 Times in 381 Posts
Likes: 175
Liked 112 Times in 67 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Excellent tutorial Paul, great explanation of how to use light and how to get professional, studio quality results

I will have a go this week and post my best and worse attempts

Thanks for spending the time to do this Paul, much appreciated fella

Greg
__________________
My Flickr Home Page
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to gregles For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #5  
Old 26th March 2014
DekHog's Avatar
DekHog DekHog is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dundee
Posts: 1,215
Thanks: 45
Thanked 110 Times in 75 Posts
Likes: 4
Liked 36 Times in 20 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

A great post, Paul - nice to see another who likes taking portraits. We're not yet a dying breed, but could be considered a rare species on this forum where birds and flowers seem to dominate!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to DekHog For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #6  
Old 26th March 2014
Phill D's Avatar
Phill D Phill D is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Derbyshire
Posts: 6,406
Thanks: 758
Thanked 968 Times in 897 Posts
Likes: 329
Liked 830 Times in 505 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

I'd love to take portraits if they came out like Pauls. They don't, so I'm reduced to flowers etc but now with these excellent tips just maybe I'll start to get something worthwhile oh hang on just the small matter of needing some patient models, everyone in our family hates their photo being taken
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Phill D For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #7  
Old 26th March 2014
brianvickers's Avatar
brianvickers brianvickers is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,762
Thanks: 21
Thanked 230 Times in 221 Posts
Likes: 2
Liked 87 Times in 54 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Thanks for a great tutorial...cant wait to go out and try these techniques!
I'm also interested in portraiture....I'm going to shoot my daughter and granddaughter at the weekend....she wants a picture to promote her new franchise - 'Rhythm Time'....a toddler group based on making noise...sorry - music.
(I'm experimenting with off camera flash too....held low and to the side of the model).

It would be nice to have a portrait section on this forum I think?
__________________
see my blog... http://www.rps.org/my-rps/portfolio
and flickr page...http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianvickers/
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to brianvickers For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014), raichea (4th May 2015)
  #8  
Old 26th March 2014
tomphotofx's Avatar
tomphotofx tomphotofx is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bexleyheath UK
Posts: 2,508
Thanks: 260
Thanked 543 Times in 479 Posts
Likes: 397
Liked 284 Times in 139 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Good tutorial Paul showing how you can control the light to your advantage illustrated with excellent photos showing the final result. This will be very helpful to lots of people here. Great stuff, thanks for sharing your methods.
__________________
"Who is watching the Watchers, watching the Watchers watching us"

Its not what you see, it's the way that you see it"

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofxstudios
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to tomphotofx For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #9  
Old 26th March 2014
IainMacD's Avatar
IainMacD IainMacD is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Drumnadrochit
Posts: 2,894
Thanks: 1,102
Thanked 473 Times in 422 Posts
Likes: 1,095
Liked 376 Times in 155 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

I found this very useful Paul, thank you. Although my immediate family run a mile when I point the camera at them I will be seeing the grand kids at easter and I will try some of your tips on more willing subjects.
__________________
Iain

E-M5 II, 7.5, 9-18, 12-40, 17, 35-100, 40-150, 45, 60, 100-400, 300

Website
Flickr
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to IainMacD For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #10  
Old 26th March 2014
Ralph Harwood's Avatar
Ralph Harwood Ralph Harwood is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,824
Thanks: 213
Thanked 294 Times in 274 Posts
Likes: 767
Liked 410 Times in 252 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Hi there Paul!

Thanks for taking the time to post this excellant tutorial. I don't often get chance to take any portraits as the wife won't let me (or pulls a funny face then demands that I delete it!) and the kids instant response to a camera is to stick their tongues out. I will have to try these techniques when an oportunity arises though.

Cheers,

Ralph.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Ralph Harwood For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #11  
Old 27th March 2014
Linzdt Linzdt is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Teesside
Posts: 66
Thanks: 16
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Likes: 10
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Thank you Paul for the excellent - so simple to understand tutorial.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Linzdt For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th March 2014)
  #12  
Old 28th March 2014
Crazy Dave Crazy Dave is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Surrey
Posts: 440
Thanks: 42
Thanked 40 Times in 37 Posts
Likes: 126
Liked 135 Times in 79 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Thank you for generously sharing your experience. So obvious when explained like this!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Crazy Dave For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (29th March 2014)
  #13  
Old 26th May 2014
jasonlingwj jasonlingwj is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: London
Posts: 7
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

thanks for the tips!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jasonlingwj For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (27th May 2014)
  #14  
Old 4th July 2014
David Brent David Brent is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Essex
Posts: 14
Thanks: 7
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Thanks a lot, Paul. These are the kind of threads that a novice like me really needs. Easy to understand and very informative. The shot with the bed sheet is brilliant.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to David Brent For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (4th July 2014)
  #15  
Old 1st March 2015
chphotos chphotos is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Essex
Posts: 15
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Re: OlyPaul's Outdoor Portrait Lighting Tips

Paul,

I know this is an old thread, but having recently joined the forum, I'm having a good look around. There's some very good advice in the thread.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to chphotos For This Useful Post:
OlyPaul (6th March 2015)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OM-D in Outdoor Photography. Seonnaidh Olympus OM-D E-M5 1 13th January 2013 08:30 PM
Outdoor Photography. Seonnaidh Foto Fair 8 10th October 2012 10:39 PM
Outdoor shoot WPJ Foto Fair 4 16th June 2012 07:52 PM
Outdoor strobe portrait theMusicMan Foto Fair 9 24th October 2010 05:40 PM
Using OlyPaul's elements tutorials gregles Software 5 7th October 2010 09:18 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:40 AM.


The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2017, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger