Reflectors, lights and modifiers: Five tips for outdoor portraits with both natural and artificial light


posted Monday, August 8, 2016 at 4:30 PM EST


Photographer and Shutterbug contributor James Patrick has made a video that should interest portrait photographers, particularly ones who like to shoot outdoor portraits. Starting with all natural light, Patrick goes through a variety of situations and discusses them in detail.

For example, utilizing all natural light, specifically indirect light, can allow you to capture images with an open aperture and nice, soft light. However, the sky can end up being very blown out when trying to expose for your subject’s face if it’s backlit. When using the sun as a backlight, you can work with a reflector to take full advantage of the sun without having to deal with the negative consequences like a blown out sky. You’re still able to take advantage of the beautiful natural light, but you’re able to put it to work for you rather than fighting it.

You can use a speedlight or battery-operated strobe outdoors as well, which will give you a lot more control over your lighting, particularly when you equip your lights with modifiers. Check out multiple options and sample portraits in the video below.

We recently covered Joel Grimes' video for F.J. Westscott's diffusing and "neutral density" fabrics for shooting outdoors, so take a look at that too.

To see more of James Patrick’s work, visit his website. For more from Shutterbug, visit their site and check out their YouTube channel.

(Seen via ISO 1200)