More Secrets to Creating Great Outdoor Portraits

Before the digital age, corrective filters or special films were mostly used for color correction in outdoor portraits. With digital cameras, the color can be corrected using your white balance setting (expressed as color temperature in degrees Kelvin).

The white balance is a sensor that analyses the lighting conditions colours of a scene and adjusts it so that the whites appear white. This also ensures that the other colours are rendered as naturally as possible. This is a major advantage that digital has 
over film photography. Film is balanced for a particular lighting condition, e.g. daylight or 
tungsten. If the conditions change them you need to fit a balancing filter, which greatly reduce the amount of light hitting the film, or fix any colour cast in the 

Most digital cameras let you choose between automatic white balance or a number of pre-set conditions such as full sun, cloudy, tungsten etc.

Automatic white balance will work for most conditions. There are times when you need to “warm” the picture up to enhance the colours, such as for portraits or 
sunsets. The best way to do this is to set the white balance to “Cloudy”. This will enrich the colours and improve the skin tone in portraits.

Digital SLR cameras today do a pretty good job of automatically adjusting the white balance for outdoor exposures. The skin tones in Portraits will be enhanced by setting the white balance to cloudy.  

If you would like to experiment with your manual white balance setting use the table below as a guide. 

Temperature     Typical Sources

1000K…….           Candles; oil lamps

2400K…….           Early morning sunrise

3200K…….           Tungsten light bulbs

4000K…….           Fluorescent

5200K…….           Typical daylight; electronic flash

6000K…….           Cloudy Day

7000K…….           Shade

Keeping your composition simple, controlling the depth of field, and eliminating objects that may distract from your subject, all help to accentuate your subject as the focal point of your portrait.

Controlling the available natural light and correcting the white balance of your photographs can reveal and enhance the true beauty of your subject.

Beyond this, make it your aim each day to unleash your creativity so that you see the world around you in fresh and unique ways. Never be content with seeing the ordinary as ordinary.

Art is created by those with the ability to see beyond the ordinary, to interpret their world in an exceptional way, and to reflect their interpretation for others to see.

So, experiment and don’t be afraid to try something new. The world is abundant in forms, textures, colors, and patterns of light.

 Grand landscapes and magnificent manmade structures are not required for great photos in the

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