Is there a safe way to photograph outdoors?

This is a discussion on Is there a safe way to photograph outdoors? within the Photography Discussion forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; I am wondering is there a pretty safe bet on certain settings that will allow you to have great results when taking pictures outside? The ...


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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up

    I am wondering is there a pretty safe bet on certain settings that will allow you to have great results
    when taking pictures outside?
    The reason I'm asking, is I have been reading alot on taking outdoor portraits, and my interest right now
    is my son's football teams. I'm worried I"m going to have to increase my ISO so much that I cant print
    any good sized prints.
    I'm trying to keep my Aperature priority, and use the lowest number possible.
    I'm sorry I'm rambling.. I'm just getting overwhelmed with all this information.

    I guess what i'm wanting to know, is what would you use when your in full sunlight taking
    a portrait? (say in the middle of a football field) I'm not worried too much about the action shots just yet. Just the posed ones.

    Also do you use a flash all the time?


  • #2

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    First if your outside in the sunlight don't increase the ISO put on 100 and leave it. Using a flash to fill may be a necessity to fill in if there are shadows, but no you don't always need to use it. If you are shooting formal portraits vice candid shots of the teams you would want to do it in a spot that isn't exposed to glaring sunlight since you obviously can't control the time of day to get an optimum photo op...

    Hopefully this will start some discussion for you.
    Steve J

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  • #3

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    I agree with Steve above. Another tip, if you can, have them with their backs to the sun then use fill flash. That way they won't be squinting into the sunlight.
    Colleen

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  • #4

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    Great, thanks Steve and Colleen.

    Is it always best to use the aperature priority, or use manual mode so that I have full control? I just want to make sure the pics come out as clear as possible so I dont have to do alot of work afterwards.

  • #5

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    Aperature priority will be less work. You won't have to worry about the shutter speed, it will set itself. However, if you do action shots, you will have to worry about the shutter speed.

    Colleen

    Sony a700
    Sony 18-70 3.5-5.6 kit lens
    Sony 16-35 2.8 Carl Zeiss
    Sony 85mm 1.4 Carl Zeiss
    Sony 50mm 1.4
    Sony 75-300 4.5-5.6
    Sony HVL-F36AM flash
    Alien Bee's B1600, AB800
    Some soft Boxes
    LR3 & CS4

  • #6

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    Right. I was just worried about them coming out on the dark side.

    I think what I might do it convince my son to sit outside and just go thru all settings and write them down in a notebook. Then go thru them on the computer and see where it looks its best.

  • #7

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    There is a lot of great advice here! Another thing to consider trying is using something for a reflector instead of a flash. That may help as a fill to keep the light a little softer.

    As Colleen said put the sunlight behind your subject- say off to the left or right- maybe 45 to 60 angle from subject. Then place the a large reflector just about opposite the light on your side to fill shadows. You could just use a large piece of White Foam Board for the reflector.
    "Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker." - Linus Vanpelt

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  • #8

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    Thanks again for all the great advice.

    I just found out that I will be doing the cheerleading pics for the little league squads. I'm so nervous.

    If anyone has anymore advice for me.. i'm all ears. I'm wanting this to go as smoothly as possible.
    I'm even going to upgrade my lense now, so I have time to play around and get comfortable with it.

  • #9

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    If you have plenty of light you don't need you lens open as wide as possible maybe f/8 or f/11 to get sharper focus your depth of field get pretty small any lower than f/4 and cloudy over cast days will get the best light.
    Canon 40D 10-22mm 3.6-5.4, 100mm 2.8 macro, 70-200mm f/4 IS USM

    If it is to be it is up to me!


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