Ken Skulte explains how to use an open shade light, that gives depth and dimension.
Tags:How to Deal With an Open Shade,depth and dimension,ken skulte,open shade,software cinema,wedding photography
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The next type of light that I’d like to discuss with you is open shade. After finishing indoors by a window, I want to find the next best thing, and to me the next best thing is open shade. Lights still coming in a direction, so I can still work into the shadow side of the face, and it’s going to give me again, depth and dimension in the photographs, that something you’ll find me suggesting every time we discuss lighting.
What I’ve look for here is I want a background again that’s kind of dark. It’s going to support what’s going on, and I like it, the background to be far enough behind somebody. That’s somebody being your subject and a lot of photographers tend to put people standing right up against the background. It doesn’t allow to really see. So what I like to do is I like to have somebody 10 – 15 feet away from the background.
Working its shallow apertures, that’s going to allow the background to go out of focus. So with that I’m going to have reinforced that depth and dimension. I often like to include if I can a foreground, middle ground and background and almost every image. Sometimes I can for just dealing with traditional portrait you’re getting somebody shots out of the way, or at least going to those dimensions where the subject is sure, and the background is soft so it’s kind of make such subject pop off the page.
As I’m working in a new environment, I tend to be looking around and taking ahead and taking ahead of the next shot while I’m actually executing the current shot. And if I’m working against the very dark background, I might want to change the key of the photograph by just simply finding a different background. So we don’t have to auto lighting. We don’t have to auto lenses. We don’t really have to move for, but I can go from a dark foliage background and move over to a wall, and now I’ve got a whole different color theme going on.
And where the most interesting things that we have to provide client is a diverse group of photographs but we don’t have a lot of time to do this, so we can’t really stage of different areas. I think we need to work in an area get the most used have a bit and move on to the next. So in changing your background, one of the things I find really important to keep in mind is keeping a background simple. I don’t want to have too many backgrounds within the background. What I mean by that if I got a section of photograph or painting on the wall I’ve got a section of a piano, or section of flowers and two different colors of wall there’s a way too much on the background to look at. So I want to keep it just uniform and simple.
So if I move over to a color section of the wall like you see in this photograph. I can have it frame with the window moldings, but I actually the main part of the wall have become the photograph itself for the background.
You’re working in this soft and direct light. Everything is coming in, in a nice direction, and you can probably see it on my face. I’ve got a highlight side. I’ve got a shadows side, and the way that it works over is a very soft edge to transfer, so I position that in here because it very, very complimentary light and it’s very dimensional. So what I did is work with some closed portrait first then I backed up. And as the back up I shot a few full bodies, and I tucked myself into some of the strawberry so that I could use that as a vignette in front of the lamps. So it’s kind of nice auto focus green program that it will help just bring the attention to Anna. And as I came back in because I had a leaning next to this window, you see the reflection on the window, and that just adds a little bit more depth and of course changes the composition a little bit, but it’s really nice that soft light on one side, and then see her complimenting profile on the other side.
In as much as we’ve been discussing light primarily and some of the factors I go into some strong photographs. I just want to talk with you the idea of how you compose in the camera. Having a person to stand in front of you is relatively stagnant, so if you see by this picture of Anna, she got her head lean over just a little bit. Her hair is creating it diagonal. The angle of her head introduce to the camera creating another angle of movement or diagonal as well. So in a very static pose I’ve got a lot of movement going on because something that you want to introduce into your photographs. I try to make sure that I eliminate everything that doesn’t belong in the photograph.
We’ve talked about the background I like the background soft. I like it almost unrecognizable. It’s kind of that isolation theory. It just helps with that depth that helps in a two dimensional world that we had to deal with in Photography. It helps kind of a jump off the page, so the whole composition element and then we’re we actually place the head or how we pose the subject all the way throughout.
The key element that I really like to keep consistent in everything that I do is making the subject comfortable. And I’m coming up with poses generally how I come up with the poses I work it all myself first before I can expect the client to do that, so I always suggest something to them, I might pose myself first to show them how to do it. At that point I can figure out what’s awkward what’s uncomfortable what I need to address. So going through that it’s going to help your client to understand what you want of them.