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Fill light


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Fill light

29 Aug 2020 8:59AM   Views : 515 Unique : 332

It used to be called synchro-sunlight – using a flash to put some light into a shadowed area, often a face. Controlling contrast, when there’s cheerful sunlight to give the picture a summery look.

But you can use flash, or a continuous light (the ubiquitous Rotolight will let you match colour temperature, if you’ve got deep pockets and a hankering after perfect colour), or a reflector.

Even a newspaper (pink Financial Times excepted) will do. Sometimes, a location will provide a big light surface.

And these days, digital processing offers a rescue remedy, or five: Nik Color Efex offers a fill option, with controllable direction, brightness and colour, while you can dodge and burn, gently, a little at a time.
Or, simply, turn your subject away from the sunshine, letting the direct light form a halo round him or her, and expose for the shadows.

I’m heading out with my wife and daughter today – maybe a family portrait – if the sun stays out…


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
29 Aug 2020 9:00AM
But which technique(s) did I use with this picture of French Chloe? Maybe a small prize for an inventive and accurate answer...
Chrism8 Avatar
Chrism8 16 1.1k 34 England
29 Aug 2020 9:16AM
Chloe's skin and denim has a slight green cast from the vegetation, she's no catchlights in her eyes and imho the contrast is down a tad, so I would say a shadows tweak in post. Smile
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
29 Aug 2020 9:35AM
Nik Gold reflector effects ?
I did a mod and reduced the greens on her denim.

Have a good day out.

dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
29 Aug 2020 12:04PM
That willow's lovely, but the colours tend to be nightmarish! Thanks for the mod, Janet.

Keeping quiet for now...
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
29 Aug 2020 6:47PM
She looks gorgeous and I do like Janet's mod with less yellowy colour.
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
29 Aug 2020 8:13PM
Model had her back on the sun and you exposed for the shadows.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
29 Aug 2020 9:07PM
Joint honours to Chris and Pablo - it was just careful exposure, plus pushing highlights down, bringing shadows up in processing.
Robert51 Avatar
Robert51 14 12 147 United Kingdom
30 Aug 2020 3:21PM
This did make me laugh thinking back to all the different things that I have used over the years to light the face.

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