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Outdoor Lighting Problem - Need Advice


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#1 Ro

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 01:54 AM

It never fails. I'm working on the newsletter. I make the samples and then need to shoot them. I need to take photos. It's the afternoon.

Our house faces east and the backyard is dead west.

I'm having problems getting the right lighting for my afternoon newsletter-needs-to-happen photo crisis'. The east side of the house gives me too dark of light. The west side of the house gives me too harsh of shadows and too bright light.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 dinny

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 06:56 AM

Head west, but try this... get some foam core boards and use them as reflectors to bounce the light to lessen the shadow. If you need more light reflected, another inexpensive reflector are those car sunshades with a metallic fabric and fold up kinda funny. The silver ones will give you a brighter reflection and the gold ones give a nice warm tone. They are much cheaper that professional reflectors and work pretty well.

If the light is still too bright, you can create a "shade" with some light weight fabric. Sometimes it seems like you need several arms. Use you a tripod, set the camera's self timer, and that will give you time to get the reflector in position.
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#3 lynne_ashcraft

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 10:15 AM

On the East or anywhere in shadow I've also used a white sheet to reflect some of the light when poster board was not available. The sheet can also be used on the other side of the house where there is direct sunlight to diffuse the direct light. Filter the light through the sheet and it will spread it more evenly.

Also, you may want to wait until close to sunset or later in the evening. Light tends to be a little more diffused the later it gets instead of the direct harsh shadows that mid afternoon can create, although be careful not to wait so long that you lsot your light behind a gate or fence. Hope that helps.

#4 Ro

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 11:05 AM

Great ideas. I think I need to put get together a bag of tricks that I can haul out there with me.

And I do need several arms! Hmmmmmmmmm Maybe lawn equipment. LOL

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#5 varanda

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 12:08 PM

clips! use woodworking clips or duct tape, use a clothesline and pins, put your kids to work, or set up a small studio in your scraproom with lights and stands, ready to go at a moment's notice...less dependent on weather and timing, more controllable, not too expensive, either.
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#6 gauchogirl

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 12:22 AM

I (also) always bounce light using a big sheet of white foamcore or posterboard. It's way cheap and portable. I also use a plain off-white painter's drop canvas as a neutral "studio" backdrop.
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