Image featured was shot by Bruce for a major advertising campaign for Häagen-Dazs ice cream
How it is done five:
De-constructing Bruce's fashion and beauty photography lighting techniques. Working with the mid day sun light.
As with most, if not all of my fashion lighting sets-ups, I keep it simple but effective. Working on my many location fashion shoots always having to work against time there are not 3 or 4 hour lunches whilst the sun is high and harsh so I have had to be able to work right through the day shooting where I can and still creating beautiful light on my models. This is a technique that I have used many times on my commercial fashion photography assignments.
Time of the day:
If your shooting out in the open sun between 11am and 3pm there are going to be a lot of problems to deal with, the harsh light, the heavy shadows under the eyes unwanted bright high lights etc etc.
I place my model in the shade and pop some light back in.
My solution to this for the above image was to go into the shade and bounce some of the light exactly how I want it and where I want it. It was around 2 or 3pm in the summer time when the sun is still quite hight, here it is to the right and slightly behind the camera position. Behind the camera position the sun light was the same as the distant background, this is where I placed my gold and silver California Sunbounce reflector to pop some light back onto my model to brighten her up but soft enough to not create any shadows.
If you look in the back ground you will see the exposure value is higher, about 2 stops higher than the shaded light hitting my model creating a lovely golden light and colour on the grass behind sort of over exposed.
If you work with quite a wide aperture say f2.8 to f4 with a medium to long lens, exposing for the light EV value hitting the model. For this shot I opened up my aperture a little from the meter reading to brighten my overall image by maybe a half stop) this will also knock the background further out of focus as well as burning the background out a little more, this helps re separating your model from the detail in the background
If you get it right you do not need photoshop
I did not use any photoshop on her skin. It looks lovely because she has good skin, I used a great make up artist and found beautiful light.
Why not try this set up for yourself and send me your images results to email@example.com and ill give you my thoughts about them.
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon 70 to 200mm zoom f2.8
Shutter: 250th sec
Connect with Bruce Smith, the published professional with 40 years experience also the author of "Fashion Photography A Complete Guide"