Wednesday, April 4

Little Photography Tip: Struggles with Shady Portraits

I took some pictures of my dad and the boys hanging out in their new clubhouse this weekend. 
They were really enjoying a good game of "I Spy" and the cool shade. 

I wanted to capture the fun, but my camera kept exposing the sky correctly at the cost of everyone's faces. Nice sky, dark faces. 
Ever had it happen!? Frustrating!

I'd like to show you an example of it, but I deleted all the bad ones not realizing I'd want to share them with you later! Dur.

But can you see how well their faces are exposed after a little camera tweaking? Sky in the back is burnt out, but the faces are beautiful. 

Note: I'm also using open shade here, which is a whole other topic worth reading up on. Here's a great link: Using Open Shade. Check it out!

But back to metering! If your camera just isn't getting it on it's own, check your settings. 
Can you change the way your camera meters/checks light? 

My Nikon D3000's offers me "spot metering." Got anything like it:

 It will change your light meter from averaging the light over a large area, to taking a very precise metering on a small spot you chose (their eyes or face).  

Here's how to use it. Find your metering settings and change 'em up to spot metering.  In your viewfinder, you'll see your focus dot. Place that on the their eyes or face and press your shutter release button halfway down. Your camera will meter the light in that spot, but not take the picture.

Recompose your picture the way you'd like it to look/move people to where you want them in the frame. Holding the button half way still. The metering you took a second ago will still hold if you don't release your shutter button. 

Now, you've got it just right? 
Press the button all the way down. 

And Ta-da!

See how the sky is all blown out and my son's face is great!? 
Spot metering!

I don't advise using spot metering all the time, especially if your hairy hooligans are moving fast. Hard to pin them with this one. But great for slower portraits in the shade!

Happy photo-journaling, friends, in the great outdoors!

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