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How to tame the savage squint?
Old 04-26-2004, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was shooting yesterday morning and the early sun was producing such a nice warm light that I setup with the model facing in that direction. The result was a beautiful warmly lit image, but then the problem of my poor model going almost blind from the sun arose resulting in a lot of squinting images. If I turn her so that the sun is not directly in her eyes I loose the effect of the sun on her face.

Does anyone have a solution to this dilemma?

Iím retouching the images now and will have some to post as an example later.
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Re: a few ideas
Old 04-26-2004, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I encounter this a lot, a nothing makes me sadder than to see a great setup where the model looks like she's in pain. Aside from trying to use dark-eyed models for this, I do a few things. 1) I try to wear a dark shirt (and I'm a large guy [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) to give her an "eye rest". 2) You will find that if you're shooting with the sun over your back (in her face) you get better results the lower the sun goes - the more level it gets to the horizon. This is partly because the light is bouncing less off the sun or water, which doubles the impact to her, and partly because it is less intense as it starts to set. 3) Most important - if possible, try to shoot when the sky behind you (where the sun is) is as clear as possible. On an overcast or cloudy day, the sky turns into a giant white softbox which no one can look into. Try staring at a blank white wall that is in direct sun for a while and you'll understand. 4) If the model has real problems, try to position yourself so you are not right in line with the sun, move a few degress off angle. That way she won't have to look right into the sun, and you might get some more interesting shadows. 5) If its just impossible, then change the angle and the look competely - so a side shot, or a flash fill, or just have her close her eyes and put her head back. There's no point in shooting a shot that makes you want to cry too.

Here's a sample from a shoot in Cabo with very late sun, slightly off to the side so that all the girls could keep from squinting. BTW, I'm IN the pool, up to my neck. Fortunately I didn't have to tread water, I was standing on my assistant's shoulders. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]



Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: How to tame the savage squint?
Old 04-26-2004, 05:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Where was it that I read that your model(s) should close their eyes for a few seconds, you count to 3 out loud and when they open their eyes, take the shot. There's just an instant where the sun isn't too annoying to the eyes and that's the instant. Give it a go.
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Sample Image
Old 04-27-2004, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is one of the photo's taken on Sunday morning.

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Re: a few ideas
Old 04-27-2004, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks again Andy for some great pointers. They are very much appreciated. I did post a sample of the photo's taken at that shoot. You can see the squint in it but the coloring, in my opinion, was very nice. If you want to comment on it I would love to hear what you have to say.

Scott
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Re: How to tame the savage squint?
Old 04-27-2004, 12:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's a great idea. I'll add it to what Andy said and that should give me a few options on dealing with the squint light.

Thanks

Scott
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Re: Sample Image
Old 04-27-2004, 12:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You can have the model close her eyes. Tell her on the count of three you'll shoot the shot. Ask her to open her eyes when you say 3. Then count, say 3, and then shoot. This often works.
Another obvious idea, is to put sunglasses on the model. You get some wonderful results and you can add all sorts of interesting refletions to the sunglasses after the fact.
By the way, I think the photo you posted has too much of a color cast to it. Did you augment or change the color in PS?

Here is an example of the 1-2-3 technique.



Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Sample Image
Old 05-03-2004, 01:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is what I do... and why... First, if I am in a situation like what I am seeing in your sample image....where you want the brilliance of the colors in the back, I would use a translucent "reclector".....even though it doesn't really reflect anything...it just creates a soft shade.. ....(if you can't find available shade)..... then I will use either a warming filter on my lens...or if I am using flash / or strobe to light her, I will place a warming gel on the light....the short duration of the flash won'tr make her squint...it's the constant light that makes her do that.. This costa a few bucks and costs you some time to set this stuff all up...but the end result is worth it... That's how we do it.. .......or, just have her looking away from the light.. Yep!

JP

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Re: a few ideas
Old 05-03-2004, 02:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Scott - sorry for delay. The problem I have with this is that the angle of the sun is still causing her eyes to close, and that makes it hard to get eye contact, with takes some of the "connection" out of the image. Its just not a flattering angle of the sun either, it puts shadows under her chin, and everywhere else. Personally, I would have found a way to backlight her, and pop some fill in from the side or with a fill flash.

Hope that helps!

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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