Shooting against the sun

Happy Friday! It’s been so hot this week it’s untrue.  The good thing about this weather is the gorgeous early morning sunshine.  Pepper was basking in the early morning light this morning and I took advantage of her (again) to grab some shots as illustration for this post.  The thing with cats is that you never know how long they’re going to stay in one spot, or start washing their tail, or just get bored and turn their backs on you, so there’s not much time to set up any lighting equipment etc.  You just have to get what you can.

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The sun was just beginning to peek over the houses to the back of us, so I grabbed my camera , threw myself onto the floor and shot away.  This was taken with my Canon 50m f1.4 lens with the aperture wide open for a nice dreamy, shallow depth of field.  I moved the camera up until the sun was just slightly hitting the lens (NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH YOUR CAMERA!) and took this.  I processed it in LightRoom to accentuate the warm colours and that beautiful early morning glow.  Yes you could probably get something near this effect post processing in Photoshop, but why bother if you can do the majority of the work in camera?

Because I (luckily) had my speedite on top of my camera, I also took some shots of Pepper without the flare.  For on-camera flash indoors, without a modifier of some kind, twist the top of your speedlite around and bounce it from the wall behind you if you can.  I usually start off with the speedlite set to about a quarter power and then modify accordingly.  All you’re trying to do is stop the person/cat’s face from being in shadow because of the brightly lit background.

I’ll be posting some more in depth tutorials on using your speedlite to create natural looking light in portraits so keep checking back.

Enjoy the rest of Friday and have a fab weekend (and a happy Independence Day for tomorrow to anyone dropping by from the USA!).

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