Create Stunning, Well-Lit Studio Portraits Without A Studio

When you want a nice portrait on a simple black backdrop, you might assume you need at least a simple photography studio to pull it off. Photographer Glyn Dewis demonstrates how you can turn an outdoor scene into the same thing with a simple light trick.

The video above explains this crazy little trick, where you set your camera's aperture so high that it blacks everything out, then use a flash to light your subject's face. The result? A stunning studio photo on a black backdrop that you took pretty much anywhere outdoors.

To pull this off, you'll need a DSLR with a wireless, synchronised flash and an umbrella. From there, you just set the flash to its max sync speed, point it into the umbrella facing your subject's face, set your camera's aperture until it blacks out everything (including your subject), and then take a photo with the flash. The narrow aperture will black out everything, and the bright flash will add more light on your subject, effectively creating a studio portrait in pure daylight. It's an incredible trick!

Photography Technique: The Invisible Black Background [ISO 1200 via DIY Photography]


Comments

    Just covered portraits in the course I teach. I will be sure to suggest this article to my students.

    I used to love getting this same effect in daylight with my Bronica ETRS, but it only worked because it had a leaf shutter lens.

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