Photography Lighting Experts Signal Mountain TN

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Forehand Greg Contemporary Portraits
(423) 886-4868
Signal Plaza
Signal Mountain, TN
Walgreen Drug Stores
(423) 870-3151
4039 Dayton Blvd
Red Bank, TN
Image Tech
(423) 870-9600
4637 Dayton Boulevard
Chattanooga, TN
Parham Winston
(423) 874-0165
3973 Hixson Pike
Chattanooga, TN
(423) 842-6550
690 Manufacturers Road
Chattanooga, TN
CVS Pharmacy - Signal Mountain
(423) 886-3269
1221 Taft Highway
Signal Mountain, TN
CVS Pharmacy - Chattanooga
(423) 877-8566
3600 Hixson Pike Suite A
Chattanooga, TN
Eckerd Express Photo
(423) 877-2431
4038 Dayton Boulevard
Chattanooga, TN
Two Zero Four Studio''s
(423) 267-2323
841 Cherokee Boulevard
Chattanooga, TN
Images by Charles Turner
(423) 266-4722
621 Black Street Suite C
Chattanooga, TN

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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