Photography Lighting Experts Washington DC

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C V S/ Pharmacy
(202) 232-8693
1900 7th St NW
Washington, DC
A-3 Vision Productions
(202) 223-4479
9293 Old Keene Mill Road
Washington, DC
Panoramic Vision
(202) 638-6944
601 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC
C V S/ Pharmacy
(202) 638-4367
1275 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC
Turning Point Gallery
(202) 333-3529
P.O. Box 50053
Washington, DC
(202) 789-0299
1100 Pennsylvania Av Nw
Washington, DC
Five Star Multimedia Productions
(202) 246-0712
Federal Center Southwest Suite 201
Washington, DC
Penn Camera Exchange-Retail
(202) 347-5777
915 E St N W
Washington, DC
Passport Renewal & Visa Service
(202) 265-0948
1825 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC
A Washington Travel Passport & Visa Service
(703) 729-6511
1717 K North West
Washington, DC

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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