Failed shot

Photo Failed It to Photo Nailed It! #4: Controlling Natural Light with a Reflector

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From time to time here on my blog I run a post: Photo Failed It Photo To Nailed It! The concept is twofold:
1) I'll share a pair of pictures, along with tips, that illustrate how you can nail a shot;
2) You'll see that pros don't always get it right the first time. :-)

This post: Controlling Natural Light with a Reflector

I took these photographs last year in a Maasai village in Kenya. The photo on the left is a failure for a few reasons:
• subject looks bored;
• lens flare (caused by sunlight hitting the front element of the lens) makes the image look flat;
• not the greatest composition.

To nail the shot, I asked our guide, Simon, to hold a reflector so that it bounced the light onto the subject's upper body. The bounced/reflected light added contrast and intensified color.

I shaded my lens with my hat to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the front element of my lens. Yes, I was using a lens hood, but the sun was very low in the sky – and more shade was needed.

I talked with the subject, Alex, and together we created a more interesting and more natural pose.

Finally, I moved in closer to give the portrait a greater sense of intimacy.

Moral of the story: When photographing people, consider the pose and see/control the light. And: don't leave home without a reflector/diffuser kit.

My gear:
Westcott Rick Sammon Light Controller and Tote
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 24-105mm IS lens.

Use the Search feature in the right-hand column to see other (3 to date) Photo Failed It Photo To Nailed It! posts.

Explore the light,