More of your photography questions

Here are a few more of your questions from twitter, keep them coming these are great! If you aren’t following us on twitter, check us out here: http://www.twitter.com/digitalphotobuz. Also you can view our last series of Q and A here: Photographer’s Questions and Answers

Okay, I have another question :) I was wondering how do you take pictures in direct sunlight? I’m not sure if it’s exactly direct sunlight. Here are some examples: 1. http://bit.ly/74d2d4 2. http://bit.ly/7Mjgq6 3. http://bit.ly/6PujaN 4. http://bit.ly/6dU36A

These shots or type of look are actually fairly simple from a lighting perspective. They are shots done in the full sun only with available light that is at the subjects back.
If you want some lens flare in the shot the sun has to be low enough to be included in the frame. The main part about getting a shot with this feel to it is getting your exposure right, you have to zoom in tight on the subject and get your exposure. Then lock that in or set your camera to manual at that exposure. That way the brightness of the background won’t fool your camera’s meter. You want the subject to be exposed correctly and then the background can blow out.

Here is a shot I recently did with this type of backlight (you can also see a article we have on backlighting here: Getting creative with natural light

The other part to these images is in the post production. In the example I have above I wanted that beautiful yellow light to really shine and add a glow to the image so I actually enhanced the color and saturation slightly. In the images referenced in the question you would want to bring down your saturation, look at the models skin tone in the examples. The color is very muted. So to get this just bring down your saturation (you might want to also tweek the levels or curves to get the contrast to your liking)
Here is the same shot above but taking the saturation down a bit:
natural light portraits

Omg where do I start. Can u make eyes pop if u didn’t shoot in raw?

Making someone’s eyes pop really isn’t a question of RAW vs Jpeg, its really in the lighting of the shot. Shooting in RAW in my opinion is always a good idea, you are capturing all of the possible data with your camera instead of having your camera compress the photo and basically throw away data. Also as technology improves and RAW processing gets better you can always go back to your RAW files and improve them if needed. With the low cost of hard drives I always suggest shooting in RAW.

But back to the original question about making the eyes pop. You can always go into a shot in photoshop and try and lighten up the eyes to make them pop better but its always best to get the lighting right during the shoot so the eyes already have a pop to them. The most common mistake I see with some portraits is having the subjects in too dense of shade with no fill light.

Try and use a reflector to bounce some light back to your subject and fill in their eyes or use an external light for a little added fill.

We appreciate your comments and keep those questions coming! You can always leave questions in the comment field below (which we do respond to all comments) or send me a twitter message.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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