Photography Lighting Experts Santa Fe NM

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Santa Fe Photo Express
(505) 982-2848
219 Shelby Street Suite 15
Santa Fe, NM
Gary Mankus Studios
(505) 982-8793
1660 Cerro Gordo Road
Santa Fe, NM
Our Color Digital Photo Laboratory
(505) 982-5050
130 North Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM
Lisa Law Productions
(505) 820-0820
320 Aztec Street
Santa Fe, NM
Sears Portrait Studio
(505) 424-2634
Villa Linda Mall
Santa Fe, NM
Anton''s Studio
(505) 989-8118
Devargas Centre
Santa Fe, NM
Alpine Outdoor Signs
(505) 424-1117
Puesta Del Sol
Santa Fe, NM
The Camera Shop of Santa Fe
(505) 983-6591
109 East San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
Hedrich Blessing Limited
(505) 466-2238
Santa Fe, NM
Frame Works
(505) 983-3311
839 Paseo De Peralta Suite K
Santa Fe, NM

Great Portrait Light!

Great Portrait Light! - 4/7/08

Let nature worry about your lighting so you can focus on making great shots

next Portraits are always a big challenge-even bigger if you're photographing kids. So why not simplify the distractions so you can concentrate your efforts on making great shots? Instead of worrying about lighting effects and flash exposures, just go outside at any time of day, any day of the year, and find some open shade.

It just so happens that open shade is one of the most flattering portrait lights, and it can be found almost anywhere. On sunny days, it's under tall trees or in open doorways, and on cloudy days, it's everywhere all the time. Open shade is an immensely soft, incredibly flattering light-making it great for portraits, and even better for making kids look like little angels. Because it's a broad, even light source, it's also perfect for photographers who need to move around-say, in case they're chasing energetic little angels all over the place.

Once you've found open shade, the hard part's finished. Look for a background that's not distracting and preferably pretty uniform. Bring along a large reflector (like white poster board or foamcore) and a spare set of hands to hold it. Use this fill card as the primary light source on the subject. On a sunny day, the open shade is probably two full stops brighter than the sunlight exposure; once you add the fill card, it's about one stop. Pick an exposure slightly over normal to soften skin tones even more, and err on the side of a wide-open aperture to minimize the depth of field. (I like to meter for the face before adding the fill card. This way, once the fill is in place, I'll be subtly overexposing the shot, further softening skin tones and making the light even more flattering.)

With this bright soft light and shallow depth of field, you'll be amazed at the quality of the photos that come from such simple lighting. Even better, you'll be free to concentrate on interacting with your subjects-always a great step toward great photographs, particularly if you're working with kids.

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