Balancing natural and artificial light: Two video tutorials for outdoor portrait photographers


posted Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 7:59 AM EDT


We've got a couple of outdoor portrait videos to share with you today. First up is a video from Lin & Jirsa Photography in conjunction with Profoto US that discusses how to light ultrawide environmental portraits. These ultrawide portraits make for excellent large prints, but the relatively small subjects can get lost in the scene. To avoid this, backlighting is an excellent technique.

Backlighting is tricky, however, so how do you achieve the best results? There are five steps you can take. First, you need to achieve the right composition. While not a lighting tip, the best lighting in the world won't help your image if it is poorly-composed. It might take you some time to get the best composition, but it's worth getting it right. The second step is to safely position your subject(s) in an ideal location.

Before you worry about your lighting, dial in the correct ambient exposure in camera. Now it's time to place and set up your artificial lighting. For the shot covered in the video below, a Profoto B2 was used. Camera gear included a Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70mm lens. Watch the video to learn how to set the power of your strobe for ambient light.

For more tips on setting up artificial lighting to balance nicely with ambient light, you can also view a tutorial from Manuel Ortiz. Ortiz uses speedlights with a Sony A7R II and Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master lens. Check out the video below to see his process for balancing natural and artificial light when shooting outdoor portraits.

We have covered videos from Ortiz before, such as his video showing the impact even a single off-camera flash can have, and how to get great off camera flash results without spending a lot of money.

(Seen via The Digital Picture and DIY Photography)