How to Shoot High Speed Sync Flash on Film for Outdoor Portraits

Been wanting to try shooting with flash for outdoor portraits on film? George Muncey of Negative Feedback shares his quick tips.

Flash photography has long been an integral part of portrait photography, whether in the studio or on location outdoors, and whether you’re shooting film or digital. George Muncey of Negative Feedback has been getting some good results with it, as he showed in his latest video. If you’ve never tried it before, his examples shot with an Elinchrom Kit will get you inspired to experiment with flash for your outdoor portraits on film.

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Useful Photography Tip #188: The Best Time of Day to Take Outdoor Portraits Is…Anytime!

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

If you’re one of those folks looking for that golden, sunkissed look to your portraiture then what you genuinely want is the entire period of the golden hour–and ideally before it. In big cities like in New York, sundown can last for a number of hours. The sun gets really nice and warm, so when combined with 5600K white balance (or auto, I guess) you can make skin tones really pop. But if you’re the type of person that can’t always wait for the sun to give you what nature does best, then seriously consider that the best time to take outdoor portraits is truthfully any time of the day.

Seriously, Chris? Yes. I’ve been doing it for years under harsh sun and under no sun with lots of cloud coverage. The best thing I tell everyone is to back or side light your subject and to head for the shade. The shade is so valuable for a number of great reasons:

  • It provides even lighting and so it gives that shadowless look
  • Combine it with ISO 400 or ISO 160 and you’ll get a very hand-holdable shutter speed
  • If your subject is wearing vibrant colors, then they’re going to really pop from the background
  • Combine the color popping effect with depth of field (bokeh) and you’re going to rock that portrait session

Of course, this is the method you use if you don’t want to carry any gear around with you like diffusers, reflectors, etc. But if you bring those things (and even diffusion umbrellas) you can shoot any time of the day you wish. It’s all about finding the light and softening it to make your subject look more flattering. Until you learn how to master natural light with whatever is available around you though, I genuinely recommend staying away from working with other items.

Oh yeah, and learn to see and pay attention to color in a scene.

Rebeca Camino Brings the Colors and Textures of Nature to Her Outdoor Portraits

All images by Rebeca Camino. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Many of the outdoor portrait photography we see make use of urban settings to create a youthful feel or cosmopolitan look to their snaps. However, there’s more to outdoor portraits than these locations. As you’ll find in this beautiful set by Spanish photographer Rebeca Camino, shooting somewhere with lots of greens and natural textures is also a good idea.

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Irene Rudnyk Shoots Beautiful Outdoor Portraits with a Cello

Running out of ideas for shooting portraits? Sometimes, all you need is a prop you can use as a major part of your portrait’s story. If you’ve been working in the studio for a while, you might want to bring your session outdoors to give your photos a scenic or even moody look. Case in point is the lovely session by Irene Rudnyk where she took portraits in natural light outdoors with her model holding a cello.

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Quick Tips for Shooting Natural Light Portraits Outdoors

One of the best places to shoot natural light portraits is, well, outdoors! Find out how you can use the natural light available outdoors in these quick tutorials.

Previously, we’ve shared an Adorama TV tutorial by Mark Wallace showing how to shoot natural light portraits indoors. But of course, that’s not the only way to work with natural light. If you want to try shooting portraits outdoors, where there’s plenty of natural light, here are a couple more quick tutorials to help you get beautiful results!

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5 Quick Tips on Shooting Better Night Portraits with Ambient Lighting

For the photographers who come alive when the sun goes down, shooting better portraits at night is a great skill to have.

We get it: you want to photograph a moment just the way you see it! Many photographers who shoot portraits at night eventually begin to understand how lighting works once they get enough experience. During the nighttime, most of the light we know and see is absent, except for the little bit that is provided artificially. So, until you know how to work with strobes, we recommend that you learn how to make the most of available light at night.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Working with Directional Light Outdoors

If you’re thinking of shooting in the bright outdoors anytime soon, this photography cheat sheet will give you some ideas on working with directional light.

Landscape photographers typically prefer shooting either early in the morning, or during the Golden Hour for its soft, gorgeous light. But there’s more to it than just avoiding the hard light during most of the day. Knowing how to work with directional light from the sun will help you get the results you need from these outdoor shoots. Let this quick tutorial and cheat sheet be your guide for your next practice!

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7 Powerful, Rechargeable Monolights Perfect For On Location Portraits

off-camera lighting

These rechargeable monolights will make it possible to do portrait shoots anywhere at any time.

Are you tired of not being able to hold portrait sessions once the light of the day disappears? Do you dread having to shoot on days when the blistering sun is high overhead creating harsh, hard shadows? Do you wish you could take your studio lights with you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this roundup is for you. We are going to be taking a quick look at seven powerful monolights that will enable you to shoot anywhere, and at any time. Continue reading…

Creative and Heartwarming Newborn Portraits by Amanda Steinbacher

All photos by Amanda Steinbacher. Used with permission.

Within the realm of portrait photography are sub-genres that we turn to as keepers of our memories and milestones. Among these is newborn and milestone photography, which immortalizes the joy of birth and childhood. In the photos she recently shared with us, Pennsylvania-based photographer Amanda Steinbacher shows us how powerful this type of photography can be in documenting the precious memories newborns and children bring to a family.

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How to Shoot Moody Natural Light Portraits

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you could create moody portraits, courtesy of photographer Ben Chambers.

We’ve featured a ton of tutorials on taking natural light portraits by many talented photographers here on the website. Today, we’re adding one more. If you’ve always wanted to perfect shooting moody natural light portraits, this tutorial by Australian wedding photographer Ben Chambers of Bach Photography is for you. In Ben’s 12 minute-long tutorial, uploaded on his YouTube channel, he showed the process of how he created a particular portrait shot, as seen above and below. He took the photo with a 5D Mark IV and Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens but said that similar results can be achieved with an APS-C camera with a 35mm prime lens.

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See Tatyana Zadorin’s Quick Demo of a Natural Light Outdoor Portrait Shoot

Screenshot image from the video by Tatyana Zadorin.

Using only the bare necessities, photographer Tatyana Zadorin was able to pull off a pretty cool natural light outdoor portrait shoot when she traveled to South Carolina, USA to visit her family.  The seven-minute behind-the-scenes video titled Natural Light OUTDOOR Portrait Photography – Behind the Scenes mostly showed Tatyana demonstrating how she made use of her Canon 5D Mark III and a couple of lenses Canon lenses with 85mm and 35mm focal lengths. She also offered the settings that she shot her photos with for those who want to emulate her images.

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Natural Light vs Off Camera Flash for Outdoor Portrait Photography

Learn how to work with both natural lighting and off camera flash outdoors in this quick portrait photography tutorial.

Spotted a picture-perfect location for some portrait photography projects and practice? Working with natural light isn’t your only option to get some impressive shots. In this quick video, find out what you can achieve with both natural light and off camera flash, and decide which look you want.

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Equipping The Outdoor Studio Portrait Photographer

This is a syndicated blog post from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. It is being republished here with permission.

There are lots of reasons to make portraits outdoors. First and foremost, you avoid the expense and space requirements of setting up a studio. And since most studios are equipped with artificial lighting and modifiers, there’s a lot of gear to buy, too. Outdoors, however, you’re given the gift of one of the most powerful and beautiful light sources around: the sun. And with the simplest tools—a white card as a reflector, for instance—you can learn to manipulate sunlight to gain studio-style lighting control outdoors.

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This Modified Instax Wide Camera is Perfect for Instant Portraits

This modified Instax Wide camera proves that manual controls and outstanding lenses makes a big difference

With Instax film packs being the most readily available and affordable instant films today, it’s not surprising to find instant photography fans keeping their eyes peeled for the best camera options out there. If it takes the bigger Instax Wide films and offers more manual controls than the usual Instax cameras, all the better — hence the keen interest on the MiNT InstantKon RF70. San Diego-based event and cosplay photographer Mike Rollerson has gotten his hands on a sweet deal with a custom modified Instax Wide camera.

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How to Give Your Portraits a Light and Airy Look on Lightroom

Screenshot image from the light and airy look video tutorial by Chelsea Nicole Photography

Wondering how you can get those clean, and sometimes dreamy portraits with a light and airy look? We’ve found some easy tips from Chelsea Nicole Photography so you can give it a try on your next portrait project. If you’re just starting out with portrait and wedding photography, this tutorial is perfect for you.

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Eric Davidove’s Street Portraits Show the Faces of San Francisco’s BDSM Culture (NSFW)

All images and text by Eric Davidove. Used with permission.

I am Eric Davidove, a photo hobbyist living in the San Francisco Bay area, who loves taking street photos. My camera is the Sony a6500 and my two lenses are the Zeiss 16-70mm and Zeiss 24mm. I have been shooting for about 2 years and picked up the hobby during a time when I suddenly found myself unemployed. Taking photos helped me deal with the stress and anxiety of unemployment, which lasted a year. For many years, a long time ago, I was a street mime who observed and interacted with people. Becoming a street photographer was a natural progression, and the mime experience helped me better anticipate and capture street moments, and interact with strangers.

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The ReEdit: Creating Better Portraits of a Violinist

In this episode of the ReEdit, I dove back into my archive of about a year to edit photos from a session that I really loved. This session was with Anna, a local violinist here in NYC and it involved using the backdrop of New York for the photos. I’m returning to Capture One due to popular request and so I’m taking everything through the culling, editing, color processing, cropping, and overall editing process.

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Shoot Beautiful Portraits on Location with these Quick Tips

Thinking of experimenting with shooting portraits on location? If you’ve never tried working outside of the studio, now would be a great time to give it a try. Not only will it give you fresh perspectives and ideas, you can also take advantage of the different shooting conditions and elements of your chosen spot.

Beach locations are popular alternatives to studio setups among photographers, which is most likely why Ed Gregory of Photos in Color chose to squeeze in a video tutorial during a shoot in the Bahamas. Here, we see him giving a quick run-down of some easy tips you can do when shooting headshots and portraits on location.

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Tips on Doing Outdoor Portraiture At Different Times of the Night or Day

Don’t listen to anyone that tells you that wonderful portraiture can’t be created during anytime of the day or night. There are great ways to shoot equally great portraits during the day or night and they don’t always involve the use of a flash. Instead, they rely more on a photographer’s ability to see and understand light. For starters, you’re going to tell you to use spot metering. Now that you’ve got that locked in, here’s how you make great portraits.

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Jarle Hagan’s Documentary Style Portraits of the Sami People of Norway

All images by Jarle Hagan. Used with a Creative Commons License.

Lots of documentary projects seem to simply do just that: document. But Jarle Hagan’s documentary portraiture goes a step beyond that as he’s previously demonstrated with his photo project involving Norway’s Sami – a protected indigenous people and the most northern dwelling indigenous people in Europe. Typically, just the idea of doing a documentary project on their lands just sounds tough.

To create the images, Jarle used the new Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens on the Leica SL camera to create the portraits. Considering just how tough that camera has proven to be, it seems very much like the right choice.

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