Playing With Harsh Light On a Soft Portrait [RF Photo of the Day]

By // July 20, 2016 // Posted in Photo of the Day, Photography, Portrait
Photo © M.K. Sadler

Photo © Meghan Kay Sadler

Meghan Kay Sadler, a photographer based in California that shoots portraits, editorial, food and travel, found herself needing a jolt in the department of personal creativity, she says. “I had been feeling a little stagnant and remembered doing a shoot with [model] Skylar a while back that was very stylized,” Sadler explains, “but I was so drawn just to her natural look and way of moving. So I contacted her and asked if she wanted to shoot for fun one day, and she was game.”

They got together last November for the shoot, and this shot in particular was taken around 3 p.m., the photographer says, “so pretty harsh lighting. I had been feeling so bored with ‘ideal’ lighting situations, natural and flash. I wanted to try something a little difficult, so we headed to my backyard and we played with shadow for a while. I underexposed a bit originally, knowing that I wanted to keep my details in the highlights and having a bit of trouble seeing myself since it was so bright. In post, I pulled back the contrast, and clipped the highlights and shadows, which I think make it less harsh.”

Sadler used her Canon 5D Mark III and 50mm f/1.4 lens, and she edited in Lightroom.

Want to see more? Click here to view past Rf Photo of the Day posts. Want to submit your photos to Rf’s Photo of the Day series? Email rangefinder@emeraldexpo.com.

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Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the Features Editor of Rangefinder. A Minneapolis native, she moved to New York after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Journalism in 2013, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern.

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