While a photograph shot in beautiful external lighting can be particularly striking, every photographer knows that shooing outside adds additional constraints and pressures to the shoot. Your final shot will be reliant on you knowing how to react when conditions change.
Here are some tips to help you out:
1# Bring a Friend
Shooting outside can require extra tools to help you direct the light for that perfect shot. And it’s also possible that you’ll be carrying all of that gear for long distances. Bring along a friend who can act as a PA – carrying and assisting and generally helping out.
2# Scout Out Your Location
Know where you are going ahead of time. The last thing you want is to end up with a tired and grumpy model who has been dragged along for that search for a perfect spot. Knowing your location will help you plan your shot beforehand so you can be there at the right time of day for the light.
3# Don’t Rely On Your LCD
When you’re outside the natural light will affect how your images appear to your eye on your LCD. An image may be properly exposed but appear to be otherwise. Make sure that you use the histogram function on your camera to check the exposure, or go inside.
4# Reflect the Light
You can use your PA to help you reflect light onto your model like you would in a studio. A large reflector can achieve this extremely simply. You can also use white or semi-white flags to soften the light from the sun. Unless you are trying to achieve a silhouette never place your model with their back to the sun.
5# Learn the Sunny f/16 Rule
The Sunny f/16 rule will help you to estimate the correct exposures without a light meter. On a sunny day you should set your aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed to the reciprocal ISO (or next number over). So:
f/16 + 100 ISO = Shutter Speed 1/100 or 1/125
f/16 + 200 ISO =Shutter Speed 1/200 or 1/250
And so on…
On a cloudy day use f/8 instead. You can check out a full Sunny f/16 table here.
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