View Full Version : Didn't want to hijack Tracy's thread

02-16-2008, 02:01 PM
On Tracy's thread Mark said that the light on the engagement images was coming from the wrong direction. Could someone elaborate on that please?


02-16-2008, 02:10 PM
Hi Debra;

I look at them and see images created at way too bright, and contrasty, a time of day. Soft, forgiving, light called "sweet light" is best. That is right after dawn or right before dusk.

Even with the time of day chosen, and the harsh light, they could have been a good bit better if a scrim had been placed between the sun and the couple thereby softening the light.

02-16-2008, 02:30 PM
I don't know if I would have said 'wrong direction,' but to me, I never want a harsh line of light - in these they have light circling their heads only. A scrim would have definitely helped, as maybe would a changing of their position.

02-16-2008, 04:45 PM
The key to light direction is lighting the mask of the face.....forehead to chin, cheekbone to cheekbone....then having the light being soft and directional would be cool....lighting outside is a combination of having either the right time of day or using trees/buildings/whatever to direct the light. Kinda sorta make sense? :cool:

02-16-2008, 04:53 PM
Just FYI, it was at sunset right before the sun finally set completely. ;) The sun was only half left at the horizon. Yes, I'm on the East Coast, but we were at an inlet where the sun actually sets on the beach. I actually like the contrast and shadows of that sunset and will try to recreate it one day, but position the couple better.

Actually, if you go back and look at the sunset picture I posted, the sunset image was taken on a different day, but that is exactly where we were when I did those other images. It had been raining the day of the couple's shoot, so the sunset was a tad brighter (contrasty like it gets right after the rain when there is a bright clearing in the storm clouds etc) and the light was different. I have found what we like and what is proper and comp worthy isn't always the same. That being the case, I will still hang #15 large in my studio because I do like the contrast and shadows of it and I won't always follow the rules with my work and will sometimes still do what I like just cuz I like it. :p If I had've diffused it, or used a fill, it may have been slightly more comp worthy, but it wouldn't feel the same to me and I wouldn't like it as much. I purposely created the mood that I did in those, and it works for me and the couple loved it enough that they saved up for a while so that they could have it to hang large in their home. So, the moral to MY hyjack (LOL) is that no, I won't submit those, as I see where they could've been more properly done. Next time I may try to do them differently so that I can submit them, but I'll just chalk that session up to one that had the perfect outcome to what I wanted, but they are what they are, and I'll still love 'em, imperfections and all LOL!

02-16-2008, 05:44 PM
On Tracy's thread Mark said that the light on the engagement images was coming from the wrong direction. Could someone elaborate on that please?

I guess Mark would be the best one to answer your question, but IMO the light is coming from a direction that lights her neck more than her face (making it the brightest part of the image). Also, I would prefer not to have such a distinct shadow on her neck, maybe add some fill light or use a translucent scrim.

I like your idea for this shoot and that you positioned the couple to get the beach & surf in the frame. I'm sure it would be kinda difficult to find the perfect location to pick up the background you want and have the sun in just the right position at the same time.