Shadows created from guys wearing hats?

9 months 3 weeks ago #641426 by Luca
How in the world do you light a guys face who's wearing a baseball cap?  All my shots always have their face in a dark shadow.  

I know the obvious answer is to have them remove their hat.  But many don't want too. 

So what can I do here? 


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9 months 3 weeks ago #641431 by GaryA
Use a fill flash.  Set the flash to be equal to or less than the ambient light and it should softly fill in the shadows.

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9 months 3 weeks ago #641489 by Luca
But in order to cover all the shadows, wouldn't you need to position the flash from low and pointed up? And wouldn't that highlight under the cap, making it look off?

BTW thank you for offering the advice!


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9 months 3 weeks ago #641510 by GaryA

Luca wrote: But in order to cover all the shadows, wouldn't you need to position the flash from low and pointed up? And wouldn't that highlight under the cap, making it look off?

BTW thank you for offering the advice!


I was thinking more alongs the lines of the on-board pop-up flash (if your camera has one).  Or a small one fitting onto the hot shoe.  The fill needs to close to the top of the lens ... any angle less than the angle of the primary light source (sun) would help, the greater the angle away from the sun the better. 

There are photographs everywhere. It is the call of photographers to see and capture those images.
www: garyayala.com

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9 months 3 weeks ago #641555 by Stanly
Try using a gold reflector

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9 months 3 weeks ago #641557 by Nikon Shooter

Stanly wrote: Try using a gold reflector



Not a gold as it would introduce a suspicious warm colour. Not a
silver either as it would blind the subject too.

I did meet such a situation and my solution was an OCF attached
to the bottom of the camera — right under the lens in TTL mode.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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9 months 3 weeks ago #641658 by Uplander
:agree:  with the reflector, that will give you a warm yet soft light that will be perfect for hitting those hat shadows.  


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9 months 3 weeks ago #641785 by Randall McNabb
A white reflector will do the trick.  Gold could work depending on how close you were.  Too close will be way to warm of tones.  


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9 months 2 weeks ago #641848 by Ruby Grace
Agree, distance is key here.  You can get away with any of the above reflectors depending on strength of light and distance from subject IMHO.

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #641850 by Troponin
So, before I advise anything, what are you trying to do? What is the event? How far? Can you change positions? Can you move the models/subjects? There are times when the shadow effect on the face is really cool, while other times it's not. It's all about getting the right angle of light, composition, and exposure. The other option is to get them in to a shaded area. You can even use the shadows to compose with if the lighting is right. Another option is back lighting. This will eliminate pretty much most of the issue altogether. 

I don't photograph many folks with hats, but I do sometimes. Whenever I am trying to achieve something new, I do a search for inspiration on how others have dealt with the same situations, learn some, then try to create something of my own with the experiences. 


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9 months 2 weeks ago #641901 by Luca

Troponin wrote: So, before I advise anything, what are you trying to do? What is the event? How far? Can you change positions? Can you move the models/subjects? There are times when the shadow effect on the face is really cool, while other times it's not. It's all about getting the right angle of light, composition, and exposure. The other option is to get them in to a shaded area. You can even use the shadows to compose with if the lighting is right. Another option is back lighting. This will eliminate pretty much most of the issue altogether. 

I don't photograph many folks with hats, but I do sometimes. Whenever I am trying to achieve something new, I do a search for inspiration on how others have dealt with the same situations, learn some, then try to create something of my own with the experiences. 



No event, just trying to figure out how to not have these shadows.   Last one was a buddy of mine while we were out.  And the photo didn't turn out good because of his shadow.  That particular time, I was 8' from him I would guess.  Distance from subject is always different.  But this doesn't happen that often, just one of things that has happened a number of times and I hadn't been able to work around.  Thanks to everyone here, I now have a good sense on how to deal with these shadows. 

Thanks again everyone!! 


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9 months 2 weeks ago #642233 by Chris Briggs
Just use your fill flash in manual mode and set for a stop or two less than ambient lighting. 


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