Photography: how do you get rid of harsh shadows?

Photography: how do you get rid of harsh shadows?

We are all familiar with the phenomenon in our photos when the sun is shining: hard shadows. We also see it in our holiday photos. Especially the area around the eyes gets very dark and if the sun is slightly behind our subject the face really gets too dark. 

And if the shadows are not that bad, our model (our subject) disappears against the background. The balance in the photo is gone and we have to come up with something extra to make our model stand out. 

In the summer I usually go out with my flash. Many people don't understand why, but here's the magic word: balance. With the flash I look for balance between the foreground and the background. You can play with this yourself. I personally like it when my model pops out, so I usually turn the flash up a bit. But of course you don't have to.

In the Perfect Picture in Argentina you also saw that the flash was used, but that the search for the perfect balance (no overblown air) still takes some practice.

Important are 2 principles:

1. Exposure Compensation
If you shoot in A/Av or S/Tv mode, you can make your photo lighter and darker with exposure compensation. A bitten sky or a light background can make you a lot darker. A sky makes you so much more spectacular.

But of course this will also darken your model or your subject and that is why step 2 is important:

2. Flash Compensation
With your flash you will illuminate your model. And here you can also provide more or less flash, but with flash compensation. For more flash go to the + and for less flash go to the -.

Do you now see the balance emerging, because they work very well together: background slightly darker and model slightly lighter? No problem by making both compensations work together.

This way you get the most out of your camera and flash and you come home with studio quality photos.

And do you want to master this completely? Then I would like to be your coach during the great practical workshop Outdoor Flashes:

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