Let’s take to the streets of SoHo for some midday sun portraits with California photographer, Tyler Agajan and dark-eyed brunette beauty, Drita Vucinaj.
Due to a forecast of cloudy skies for his outdoor photoshoot, Tyler had to improvise when conditions turned out much brighter than expected. Had he known the light wouldn’t be as predicted, he would have opted for a late afternoon shoot instead of a midday one “so the light wouldn’t be so harsh. But it is what it is. We make it work. We make it happen,” Tyler said.
The bane of midday light comes in the form of overly contrasty imagery: hard shadows, distracting highlights, and unflattering elements to facial features. What do you do when the shoot must go on? To repeat Tyler, accept it and “make it work…make it happen.”
Using the V-Flat to Modify Bright Midday Light
Liking how the light hit Drita’s hair from behind, but less enthused about how dark the backlit conditions left her face and frontside, Tyler brought in a V-Flat to bounce light onto her face and brighten up the shadows.
At times, Tyler shot with the V-Flat opened directly behind him to bounce light onto Drita; at other times, the V-Flat worked its light modifying magic at camera left, bouncing light onto Drita’s right side.
With it so bright out, he kept his shutter speed pretty high at 1/2500, aperture of f/4 and an ISO of 800, which worked well for the scenario, especially “when the model’s doing a lot of moving.”
Drita wore two different outfits and posed in a few urban locations, sometimes walking and moving along and at other times standing in one main spot. With such an on-the-go shoot, let’s not forget that the V-Flat makes location photography easier with its ability to fold compactly for uncomplicated transport and versatile placement when bouncing light (see below to view the V-Flat folded down into a tent shape for genius light modifying).
Using Open Shade to Navigate Midday Sun
Changing things up, Tyler and Drita moved to a spot in open shade provided by the plentiful urban landscape around them. As mentioned in our other articles, open shade is simply any spot where direct, overhead sunlight is blocked but still receives light from its surroundings (whether reflected or bounced). Open shade creates flattering, even lighting. Harsh, midday sunlight doesn’t stand a chance in the face of open shade.
Many thanks to photographer Tyler Agajan for giving us a glimpse into how he navigates photographing a model in midday sun while on location in the streets of SoHo. For a photoshoot in harsh sunlight, the images turned out pretty nice. Way to make it work, Tyler.
What’s In The Bag?
Camera: Canon EOS R5
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II
Light Modifier: Foldable V-Flat
Filmed and Edited by: https://www.instagram.com/samuelbouret/
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