Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rainy day shooting in the park

After our experience with the harsh mid day light when shooting models in the park a few days ago, we decided to book our next shooting later in the day, from 4-7, to take advantage of the late sun just before sunset. Problem was a thunderstorm rolled in and it clouded over with a light rain falling just as we began to shoot. Clouds are not a real problem. In fact they can be a blessing when shooting with a foliage background by reducing the contrast between shadows and highlights. And warming up the colors of an overcast day is easy today in post-processing.  We managed to shoot for an hour and a half of our schedule before it began raining really hard and we had to quit.

Unpleasant shadows on the models face are always a problem on a dull day. We use large reflectors of a gold-silver mix and hold them at a very low angle to the models face to reflect the cloudy, white sky up into the shadows.

Dressing the model in light, warm colored clothing helps to counter act the dulling affect from an overcast day. 

Our shooting script called for a lot of action shots so it was necessary to boost the ISO to 640 or 800 to gain sufficient action-stopping shutterspeed. I shot at f/2.8 with on Nikon 70-200mm lens and 24-70mm zooms.

What you don't see here is all the streaks from rain drops falling around the model. I removed them with Photoshop.

We always include a gray card in every scene when shooing. Once click on the white or gray in Adobe Bridge is all it takes to restore the colors to standard or warm daylight. This is particularly helpful on an overcast day such as this one. The card I use is the QPcard 101 shown here.

One thing I did in this shot and all the others shown here, it to punch the background color up a bit. To do this I switched the color space from RGB to LAB in Photoshop and used adjustment curves to intensify the A and B channels. I then painted the intense color out of the models skin so it wouldn't be overly enhanced. Finally, I brought the image back into RGB.  I prefer color enhancement using LAB because it is the most extensive and non destructive color space, and does not tend to posterize the colors.

The clouds began to darken, the rain intensified, and things were getting quite wet. This was the last shot we were able to do before we quit. You can see how wet the stone steps are from the rain. Nonetheless, the colors are bright, the shadows are under control, and the exposure is evenly lit. It is interesting to compare this shooting with the one I posted a few days ago. That was the same location, but on a very brightly lit sunny day.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks, Tom. That was a very helpful post.