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Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Hi there!
How can I shoot a model IN natural light, but keeping the sky blue? If I get the sky to be blue the subject is dark, and if i get the subject lightened the blue sky gets all white. Lets assume it is a bit of a cloudy day and non natural light is forbidden.

Many thanks!

Canon 6D, Canon 70-200 IS II f2.8
Apr 22 13 01:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Designit - Edward Olson
Posts: 1,626
Eureka, California, US


Blue sky on a cloudy day?
Apr 22 13 01:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
Blue sky on a cloudy day?

When I say cloudy day, I mean a cloud or too hiding the sun, not a heavy cloudy day. Yes the sky was blue and the day was a bit cloudy

Apr 22 13 01:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Preime Photography
Posts: 50
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


buy a large reflector and bounce some of that daylight back onto the subject to reduce the difference in light levels. A white bedsheet or tablecloth would do the trick in a pinch. Shoot RAW as this gives you a much larger dynamic range and you can compensate for the sky afterwards
Apr 22 13 02:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alessandro2009
Posts: 7,360
Florence, Toscana, Italy


There are different possible strategies:
- wait until you obtain more light for use a reflector
- use a GND filter on your lens, supposely that you put your subject on a nice background so you should take attention on the filter only for save the sky
- HDR and postwork

Note:
That problem is caused from the limited dynamic range of a camera respect the human eyes.
Apr 22 13 02:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Actually the shoot is in a tough spot for using a reflector, I was wondering if I could do something in terms of settings on the camera or maybe postwork
Apr 22 13 02:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,491
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Heres a crazy idea, you can always have the model face towards the sun smile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11374619@N … otostream/
Apr 22 13 02:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jose Deida
Posts: 1,133
BLANDON, Pennsylvania, US


Graduated Neutral Density Filters


http://youtu.be/byXjjT74zSI

I did this in post..

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6052/6317380623_5ae5aa3707.jpg
ner041D by josedeidaphotography, on Flickr
Apr 22 13 02:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Garrett
Posts: 4,259
Escondido, California, US


Sometimes I'll go ahead and blow out a sky, and it looks natural. Sometimes I'll make a selection of the sky, and put in a fake blue gradient, add a very little bit of noise, even less blur, then take the opacity down until it "looks natural", then merge it down. It depends on the image. I just accept that, sometimes, There is nothing I can do but blow something out. I deal with the situation appropriately as needed.
  One image in my MM portfolio has a completely added sky, (from another image). in the many years I have displayed it, NOBODY has ever identified it. Another image has the blue put in, nobody has commented on that either, though I can see it, and would improve it if I ever decide to do it again. The color that is added has to be exact, and subtle, or it will look very fake. People expect to see a very pale sky, if the sun is in the "wrong place". The point is. it has to be done subtly. In "exposing to the right", in order to get an acceptably clean image, I often see some version of this "problem" arise. It is easy to deal with one way or another.
-Don
EDIT: the solution two above my post is a very good and obvious one, but, sometimes, the background I want is not there to accommodate.
Apr 22 13 02:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Jose Deida wrote:
Graduated Neutral Density Filters


http://youtu.be/byXjjT74zSI

I did this in post..

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6052/6317380623_5ae5aa3707.jpg
ner041D by josedeidaphotography, on Flickr

This is great, can you tell me how you did this in post?

Apr 22 13 02:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


is there a way to fake GND filters? DIY tip?
Apr 22 13 02:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Images by MR wrote:
Heres a crazy idea, you can always have the model face towards the sun smile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11374619@N … otostream/

smile hmm too much squinting..

Apr 22 13 02:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jose Deida
Posts: 1,133
BLANDON, Pennsylvania, US


Apr 22 13 02:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US


Images by MR wrote:
Heres a crazy idea, you can always have the model face towards the sun smile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11374619@N … otostream/

I was thinking of that.

I've also tried complicated things like putting the model in a shaded location or waiting until evening. 

But, for the closest I can think of to the specific question, the only time I've ever successfully used the "popup flash" on a model shoot.  I set the shutter speed for the background light, and took the shot.  Not fabulous, but it worked.

(Barely 18+)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7102/6873 … 467b_c.jpg

Apr 22 13 02:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Thanks! I hadn't noticed it! wink

Apr 22 13 02:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Art of the nude wrote:

I was thinking of that.

I've also tried complicated things like putting the model in a shaded location or waiting until evening. 

But, for the closest I can think of to the specific question, the only time I've ever successfully used the "popup flash" on a model shoot.  I set the shutter speed for the background light, and took the shot.  Not fabulous, but it worked.

(Barely 18+)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7102/6873 … 467b_c.jpg

I have to shoot the model in natural light, but thanks! wink

Apr 22 13 03:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jose Deida
Posts: 1,133
BLANDON, Pennsylvania, US


M K wrote:

Thanks! I hadn't noticed it! wink

and when the flash does decide to fire big_smile

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7273/6860374074_8158ea7368.jpg
312527_2423929194061_1126433730_32862007_1831400143_n by josedeidaphotography, on Flickr

Apr 22 13 03:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US


Don Garrett wrote:
Sometimes I'll go head and blow out a sky, and it looks natural. Sometimes I'll make a selection of the sky, and put in a fake blue gradient, add a very little bit of noise, even less blur, then take the opacity down until it "looks natural", then merge it down. It depends on the image. I just accept that, sometimes, There is nothing I can do but blow something out. I deal with the situation appropriately as needed.
  One image in my MM portfolio has a completely added sky, (from another image). in the many years I have displayed it, NOBODY has ever identified it. Another image has the blue put in, nobody has commented on that either, though I can see it, and would improve it if I ever decide to do it again. The color that is added has to be exact, and subtle, or it will look very fake. People expect to see a very pale sky, if the sun is in the "wrong place". The point is. it has to be done subtly. In "exposing to the right", in order to get an acceptably clean image, I often see some version of this "problem" arise. It is easy to deal with one way or another.
-Don
EDIT: the solution two above my post is a very good and obvious one, but, sometimes, the background I want is not there to accommodate.

I'm pretty impressed with whatever you did on your avatar.

Apr 22 13 03:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Garrett
Posts: 4,259
Escondido, California, US


Art of the nude wrote:

I'm pretty impressed with whatever you did on your avatar.

Thank you, but it wasn't the sky in this case, it was just my usual tonal adjustments.
-Don

Apr 22 13 03:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Art of the nude wrote:
I'm pretty impressed with whatever you did on your avatar.

This is natural light behind the model right before dawn, but she is lying down so the light is all over her smile

Apr 22 13 03:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leo Howard
Posts: 6,748
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Do you mean something like these?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/091120/13/4b070d5bc4624_m.jpg


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090420/20/49ed38fa39ae0_m.jpg


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090420/19/49ed2e910e82d_m.jpg
Apr 22 13 03:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,335
Houston, Texas, US


OP, if you are able to get some details in the sky (not a complete blowout), you can always develop your raw file twice -- once for the model, etc and again just for the sky.  Pull the exposure back on the sky, bump the saturation, highlights, whites, etc. 

Then merge the two files in PS.
Apr 22 13 03:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US


M K wrote:
I have to shoot the model in natural light, but thanks! wink

This is 6 pm in May, camera facing straight east.  We were inside a parking garage, and there were no reflectors or anything.  Minimal post; it was a pretty impromptu "test" shoot, basically.  I may well have adjusted contrast and such, but nothing like a composite.

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4055/4632525638_cd5616bf3c_z.jpg

For what it's worth, the EXIF
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16842686@N … 7347652449

Apr 22 13 03:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MichaelClements
Posts: 1,728
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


This may be a silly question but why is non natural light 'forbidden'?
Apr 22 13 03:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US


Art of the nude wrote:
I'm pretty impressed with whatever you did on your avatar.
M K wrote:
This is natural light behind the model right before dawn, but she is lying down so the light is all over her smile

It's really nice, but I was talking about Don's.  smile  (That's why I quoted him.)

Apr 22 13 03:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Barnes Photography
Posts: 205
Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand


MichaelClements wrote:
This may be a silly question but why is non natural light 'forbidden'?

Yeah, I was wondering that? Because the obvious answers are the reflector already mentioned, or flash.

Alternately, bracketed exposures?

Apr 22 13 05:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,379
Seattle, Washington, US


MichaelClements wrote:
This may be a silly question but why is non natural light 'forbidden'?

you are from Australia, the OP is from Greece.

Apr 22 13 06:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,067
Alexandria, Virginia, US


expose for the sky and fill the subject with flash.....
Apr 22 13 06:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 17,986
Orlando, Florida, US


Circular polarizer helps deepen the sky.  Also do not shoot with sun behind subject.

Anyhow this was natural light with just a reflector
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/72834_10201019861847942_917593733_n.jpg
Apr 22 13 06:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,915
Dearborn, Michigan, US


MichaelClements wrote:
This may be a silly question but why is non natural light 'forbidden'?

I use flash outdoors most of the time.

Apr 22 13 06:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Edge of the Moon
Posts: 429
New York, New York, US


This is in direct sun, no reflector or flashes.  The sand is the reflector really.
The sun was slightly covered by a thin layer of clouds just enough to diffuse things a little.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130413/13/5169c0d667559_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130415/10/516c366dc1d79_m.jpg
Apr 22 13 06:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,667
Houston, Texas, US


M K wrote:
Actually the shoot is in a tough spot for using a reflector, I was wondering if I could do something in terms of settings on the camera or maybe postwork

This is all about exposure latitude.  The range you can expose the sky to get the blue you want is in a range that differs enough from your subject's exposure that they are out of balance.  You can't really affect the sky's exposure so you're left do deal with your subject's exposure.

Your options are:

1. Use flash to bring up the subject's reflectance closer to that of the sky.
2. Use reflectors to bring up the subject's reflectance.
3. Photograph the subject and then shoot the background separately and put them together in post.

4. If your subject is not full length you can use a black screen behind that can reduce the background light by a stop or 2 at least.    This has a number of drawbacks.
-The aperture has to be fairly open, so the screen doesn't show.  It'll act like a sunglass lens and reduce the light in the sky and background. If you're stopped down too far,  you'll likely see the screen's pattern.
- It's big and expensive to buy, not that cheap to rent. (If available in your area.)
- depending on the size of the screen, it'll probably greatly limit you to what lens you can use.
5. Angie's example and advice above seems the best suited as your answer.   It's a great example of rich, direct, harsh sunlight photos that hold great depth and saturation, without using flash..

Apr 22 13 07:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,667
Houston, Texas, US


Leo Howard wrote:
Do you mean something like these?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/091120/13/4b070d5bc4624_m.jpg


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090420/20/49ed38fa39ae0_m.jpg


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090420/19/49ed2e910e82d_m.jpg

Look like you used, flash and/or reflectors... yes?

Apr 22 13 07:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BT Imagery
Posts: 1,017
Cedar Falls, Iowa, US


M K wrote:
I have to shoot the model in natural light, but thanks! wink

Why?

Apr 22 13 08:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 390
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


M Barnes Photography wrote:

Yeah, I was wondering that? Because the obvious answers are the reflector already mentioned, or flash.

Alternately, bracketed exposures?

This would be my suggestion. Get the model to remain very still and bracket and hope the lower end is enough to bring the sky in.
But you're really hamstringing yourself by insisting natural, no reflectors, and turning towards the sun is out. You can only take so many tricks out of it before none are left.

Apr 22 13 08:39 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Pictus
Posts: 961
Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Or replace the sky smile
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4686872/Parthiv_mehta.gif
Apr 22 13 08:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Works Photography
Posts: 2,890
Orlando, Florida, US


M K wrote:
Hi there!
How can I shoot a model IN natural light, but keeping the sky blue? If I get the sky to be blue the subject is dark, and if i get the subject lightened the blue sky gets all white. Lets assume it is a bit of a cloudy day and non natural light is forbidden.

Many thanks!

Canon 6D, Canon 70-200 IS II f2.8

You simply can't- cameras don't see what the human eye can see so you have to expose for you subject accordingly. There are doings of the trade. YOu can use a reflector to bounce off the light into your subject or expose for the sky and use a flash or strobe. Mind you- you will need a power strobe or bare flash to do so. Here is one I did two weeks ago using a strobe with an octobox. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8110/8633947303_e5be872d8a.jpg

Apr 22 13 09:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ben Cliffe
Posts: 269
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Select the time of day where the light balance between subject and sky are in harmoney.

Or expose for the sky and add light to the subject for other times where the light balance isn't right.
Apr 22 13 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Nelson Photograph
Posts: 345
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, US


M K wrote:
Actually the shoot is in a tough spot for using a reflector, I was wondering if I could do something in terms of settings on the camera or maybe postwork

There a couple of things you can do in these backlit situations.  What I have done is take a photo of the background properly exposed, then put the subject where you want her and then take a photo exposed for the subject and in PS create a composite using the two photos.

Another technique is to take the photo of the subject and let the background blow out, then in photoshop duplicate the layer and use level and severely darken the image until the background becomes reasonable, then create a black layer mask and paint with white over the background to expose it and if you leave the model alone it she will be fine.

A third technique would be do bracket the photos and you could do an HDR type effect.

Apr 22 13 09:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,270
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Digitoxin wrote:
OP, if you are able to get some details in the sky (not a complete blowout), you can always develop your raw file twice -- once for the model, etc and again just for the sky.  Pull the exposure back on the sky, bump the saturation, highlights, whites, etc. 

Then merge the two files in PS.

I have done this, used a polarizing filter, or overpowered the sun a bit with flash.  Several ways to the same goal.

Apr 22 13 09:30 am  Link  Quote 
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