High key lighting outdoor portrait tips

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
FuzzyKeys Regular Member • Posts: 290
Re: High key lighting outdoor portrait tips

The actual shooting of this kind of stuff is not super complicated imo. Backlight with the sun and use unobstructed sky for big fill. You can use a strobe if you want but I would use just a kiss to supplement rather than overpower the ambient light.

From there, a big part of this look happens in post. In terms of exposure management, you really don’t want to do very much highlight recovery if you can avoid it. If things blow out a bit in the environment, that’s fine. You will also probably want to apply a master tone curve that rolls off the high end and compresses the dynamic range, so you can lift the black point above zero as well. In terms of color, look how de-saturated and pale the greens, blues and yellows are while the skin tones are a hair on the brighter side of “properly” exposed but much more saturated than the environment. That contrast makes the skin pop and sells the stylized look. Turn down the saturation of the non-skin tones by a lot and turn their luminosity up a bit. You can do that with HSL in LR or the color editor in C1, though in LR it can be a bit more fiddly to separate your greenish foliage yellows from the warmer yellows that reside in the skin tones. You can do this or refine it in PS with more precision.

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