A lot of people are somehow afraid to shoot straight into the sun….
Well I agree that there is a lot of talk online that it can fry your sensor but in all honesty if that was really true….well my sensors would have all been fried, just be smart and don’t look at the sun too long and keep the exposure time to your sensor limited, because… well it is a lot of light that is aimed at your sensor via a lens so don’t keep it on a tripod for an hour (just saying).
As soon as you overcome that “fear” of shooting into the sun a lot of cool options open up.
The shot you see in the opening post was done during a workshop with my DxO one connected to my iPhone, I choose a low angle because of the background (our studio).
So you do you meter something like this.
Here it’s important to understand the dynamic range of your camera a bit.
Especially knowing how much you can get back from both the highlights and shadows.
Always make sure you get enough detail in your models face, so don’t underexpose too much, but also don’t expose correctly for the model… and there are 2 reasons for this.
- If you expose your model correctly the background will be almost pure white due to the high brightness of the sun/sky. Also the model will look glued on the background, so always make sure the model is slightly underexposed which will make the shot look much more natural. This same tips also goes for sunsets, always make sure you underexpose your model slightly when using strobes (and light from the side) this way the model looks more natural in the scene.
- If you underexpose your model to the “max” of your dynamic range you can still raise the shadows/midtones in your RAW convertor enough to get the detail/exposure on your model that you want, the extra advantage is that with the highlights slider you can lower the brightness of the sky a lot more simply because it’s still in your dynamic range.
Planning a shot and knowing the limits of your gear is incredibly important when you like to be on the edge of lighting.
In most cases I’ll shoot as perfect as possible in camera, but when you know there is a lot of backlighting and you don’t use a reflector or strobe (like in this case) it’s always good to know these limits because now you know how much you can underexpose to “save” as much as possible from the sky, and actually almost mimic the use of a reflector or strobe.
Now don’t be afraid of noise/grain in you’ll probably shoot these kind of shots on ISO100 and often you will open up a max of 2-3 stops so in essence you’re shooting on 400-800 max for the model and with modern day cameras that is no problem at all.
So the next time you’re shooting on location try a few shots with just this technique (so no strobes or reflectors) you’ll see what your camera can do, plus it will help you in situations where you have no choice….
Want more in depth tips and techniques?
Check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” or one of the many instructional videos via this site (see the menu on the left).
When traveling most people “fall” for the tourists traps, and although those have to be visited too of course, Annewiek and I also always love to visit some local areas and stores. This is also why we always ask the local people what to do.
Both Annewiek and I love the smaller “unique” stores and because at that time we were slowly starting picking up my Comics hobby one of the stores we had to visit according to our friend was in RedBank New Jersey and was called “Jay and silent Bobs secret stash” now for people who think “that name rings a bell” that is 100% right, this is the comic book store owned by Kevin Smith.
We arrived a bit too early so we had to wait for them to open but as soon as they did it was worth the drive. The store is of course jam-packed with comics and figures/toys/shirts etc. but also has some really cool movie memorabilia from Kevins movies and almost work a visit just for that, and do not forget to check out the art on the walls and the pieces on for example a fire door 😀
In the past I watched 1-2 episodes of Comic Book Men (which is not readily available in our area) now with most of these shows they are filmed with the employees (stars) there but as soon as you visit the store…. well there are other people there which for me is always a bit of a let down, we visited for example the pawn shop in Las Vegas and in all honesty it was cool but…… not worth the trip (only half an hour from where we were). Now with the stash it was totally different. Much to my surprise both Mike and Ming were working there and helping customers, and in a very good way taking their time and giving advise.
Of course I couldn’t resist to chat with both Ming and Mike and show some of my work 😀
Now when visiting a store and getting great service also means you have to buy something of course and at that time we didn’t collect any Batman material yet but they had a whole collection of Kevin Smith and Clerks figures, some were signed and some weren’t. The great thing was that all the signed material is priced the same as the unsigned, now that’s a store I love, but mostly an attitude I love, I never got the people that charge for their autograph at conventions, it’s your fans dudes come on. So seeing the signed versions priced equally to the non signed was awesome, and naturally we ended up with a signed version.
Now at that time we already wanted to start collecting something and pick up my passion from when I was young (comics) and because of the enthusiasm of the “comic book men” we ended up deciding to make Batman our main goal, now a few months later we have a nice collection and comics are also a part of this, mainly thanks to that one visit which actually triggered us to also visit other comic book stores and even a convention.
Today on the blog some images from our visit to “Jay and silent Bobs secret stash”
Now if you’re (like me) also into comics and that kind of cool stuff make sure to check out the TV series “Comic book men” I have to be honest that is was very difficult to get all episodes in the Netherlands complete because Netflix is not broadcasting them so we had to….. well ok I can’t say that on the blog, but you know what I mean… right? In essence it’s a cooler version of Pawn stars with the main focus on comics and action figures, toys etc. and it’s a load of fun. If you’re not in the possibility to get the TV shows make sure to check out the many podcasts they have on iTunes and SModcast (just type in SModcast in iTunes)