Tutorial [Photo Method] Top Shade (shooting method. not post production)

Discussion in 'Help' started by Jade, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Jade Traverse Town Homebody

    Apr 5, 2010
    Top Shade

    This trick works really great for outdoor portraiture. When you're outside I found that portraits often time look really harsh in sunlight, especially around mid-day. For example;

    Of course you can do other things like lower your shutter speeds, lower your ISO and such to make the light not as overwhelming; but you'll still get oddly cast shadows if you're shooting at any time when the sun is out. Example:

    This is where top shade comes in handy. Top shade is basically shade directly over your subject, that's blocking (but not completely eliminating!) sunlight. You can aquire Top Shade under buildings, bridge ways, or doorways but these building structures aren't always available to you. This is where we introduce the umbrella. Bring a friendly assistant, and a big black umbrella (you can get them anywhere for really cheap. http://www.amazon.com/American-Tour...WZ64/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1287541560&sr=8-3 there's a really cheap one for you that will work perfectly), and use that as your top shade.

    Tips: You may have to instruct your assistant! Look at the light, analyze where it's coming from and have the shade hoover directly over your subject. This means that the umbrella won't always (in fact most times it won't) be directly over your subject. For example:


    The Results:

    Top shading works wonders on outdoor portraits because by eliminating harsh shadows and bright highlights you'll bring out a natural warmth in your subject's skin tone. By doing that you'll also make your subjects look softer, smoother, and more gentle. Examples:


    (here the top shade is actually coming from the leaf)