Outdoor photography can be a tricky thing, mostly from it's identifying feature: the outdoors. It can be hard enough to find the time to do a shoot, add in other people's schedules, unexpected weather, and it can be downright difficult to get that perfect shot!
A couple months ago I planned an outdoor yoga shoot with my new model friend, Amy. We were planning on photographing in the snow in Bristol. It was late in the afternoon, rather cool still, but we weren't getting the shots we wanted. The sun was sinking lower, but was keeping everything a tolerable temperature, and then it started to turn golden. It was that time of day when everything looks magicall! We found the best spot facing southwest with water in the background, and utilized every last minute of sunlight we could! It felt like we were photographing in the summer, even though it was technically the last few days of winter. Amy was a trooper and these are perhaps my favorite yoga photos to date!
This is my favorite kind of light, and I particularly like shooting backlit with a shallow depth of field. But backlight can be a technical challenge. I'll use one of two methods to keep my exposure just right: 1) Manual and Matrix or 2) Spot with Exposure Compensation. For the first option, I may choose to shoot manual with my meter set to matrix, and take a few test shots to see if I want my exposure a bit brighter or darker than the camera recommends. This requires me to review often as the sun sets and adjust to the changing light. With the second option, I'll shoot with my meter set to spot or center-weighted, aperture priority, and exposure compensation to bring it down until I have the look I want. This method tends to brighten exposures when you use the spot meter on your backlit subject, which you can balance the way you want with your exposure compensation. You won't have to change quite as much with the changing light since it's a priority mode, and since I prefer a brighter aesthetic, this is the method I gravitate towards more often. An assistant with a reflector is always a plus, but not always possible, so I just keep checking those exposures, and taking a few bracketed shots when I can!
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