Welcome my awesome friend and fabulous photographer–Shari Hanson sharing a great photo tip today–Finding the Open Shade.
Hello friends and followers of Kristen Duke! I have known Kristen since high school and feel so blessed to know her! When I was starting out in photography she was (and still is) an endless source of information and help to me! I am so pleased that she invited me to be with you today and excited to share an awesome lighting tip with you!
When shooting with natural light we all know that the best light is usually found early in the morning or around an hour before sunset — what people like to call the “Golden Hour.” Does this mean that we just put our cameras away during the rest of the day? NO WAY, JOSE!! If you’re afraid of shooting in bright sun, then this is the lesson for you! If you know how to find open shade, then you can shoot on bright sunny days with no problem!
First of all, what is open shade? Open shade is found in an area that is shaded from direct sunlight but is illuminated by reflected light. Open shade can be found in a variety of places such as in the shadow of a building, right inside your front door, under a big tree, or even right inside your garage – with the door open of course!
The reason open shade is so awesome is because it creates a nice, even light across your subject. The most important thing to remember is to ALWAYS have your subject facing the light! This will create beautiful catch lights in their eyes, and make them look bright and ALIVE!
Here’s an example of using open shade:
In the photo on the left, can you see that line between the shade and the sunlight? That is a tell-tale sign of open shade. I usually ask my subjects to stand a few feet back from that line and it creates such lovely reflected light on them! Can you see the catch lights in their eyes in the photo on the right? That’s what you’re going for!
In this image the overhang from the building provided perfect open shade and in the doors you can see the light from the street that was reflected back on this family.