Photography Tips: Location Light and Composition
Articles Blog

Photography Tips: Location Light and Composition

August 23, 2019

somebody put really really really
powerful comment on one of my videos the other day they said there is nothing worse than a
sharp picture of a fuzzy idea and how true that is you gotta think your way through your images, that’s what my seven building blocks of photography course is all about. It’s going to teach you how to bridge it all and bring it all together. now I thought we’d go out and take a few pictures and I could just sort of show you a little bit more about . I had a phone call the other day from a young lady who’s probably quite well known to some of you because she needs new pictures because
ladies and gentlemen please meet the revamped, the re built the new look, Abbey hills ladies and gentlemen. Enough, Right. Hello mate, right so what are we gonna do? we’re gonan do some nice pictures of Abbey, and as you can see she has a very different look to the last time you probably saw her we got the blonde, we got all that kinda stuff going on. I’m in this little alley way here, because look what we’ve got on the ground, look, we’ve got a shadow, we’ve got shadows alright. now shadows mean nice light, we don’t want direct sunlight on a person. we’ve also got just here this wall. This wall is bouncing light back over here, its like a great big natural reflector because the Sun is over there this is
what I’m thinking I spent a while walking around looking for these places I quite like the brightness of the background, there might be a few people, we might see if we can make them a little bit soft, a bit fuzzy. I’m thinking Abbey against the bright background, so lets do two or three shots and have a look. and see how they work. I want a soft background, so that’s our sharpness block, isn’t it, we’re gonna wanna use a shallow depth of field, and i’m gonna use a long lens to isolate Abby What are we going to do abs? I quite liked you sitting on the little mushroom there. i’m going to do a little head and shoulders, put your hands on your knees and lean towards me, lean forward, that’s it. A bit Marilyn Monroe-y. can you see people we’ve got light
reflecting off the wall onto abby’s face we got a dark side of the fac e and a light side of the face. We’ve got a natural reflection going on. So long as we keep abbys face turned that way very very slightly is gonna be really really cool, that wont work on an older person someone craggy like me but it will work, don’t smile. on someone like Abby. Right lets take the shot. So abby that’s really cool, look at abbys face quickly, see the pose,see the ways she’s got her face turned into the light like that right great stuff. Right i’m over here, i’m a long way away because i’m using a long lens and let’s just see, I wanna try and I’m gonna shoot through between these
pillars because I want the brightness behind Abby thats looking good. Looking good abs! Let’s bring that down a bit. You’re doing your pouty thing which is cool check my exposure now I’m exposing for Abby i’m not exposing for the background because I want abby to be the correct exposure, let the background go bright. that will allow her to stand out I like
that light, that’s so cool. Look how it’s wrapping across her face. okay look she’s doing a pose on her own. let’s go with that one, now the side lighting is a little strong, that’s better when you turn your face to the light, that’s cool. Can I shoot through here, I can, there’s a man in a red jumper have a look quickly, he’s just gone I don’t know if you can see him Lorna, come over here. so there he is, quick, a man in a red shirt down the end there. now he’s right behind Abby obviously
don’t want him in the picture so sometimes you gotta
wait for a minute come back and join me when he’s gone just man in the shop okay he got quick let’s get the man with the shopping trolley right behind Abby UGH. this is one of the problems you’ve gotta deal with when you’re shooting out in an urban environment you’ve got to use the patience, you’ve gotta wait a minute, there’s a load of them now. join us in a minute they’re actually so
many people on the summit different lets do a quick headshot abby let’s do a head shot, there’s loads of people down there let’s just do a headshot. now let’s do something here what’s interesting here we’ve still got
the reflect we got the stupid as we got different light you can probably see on this from my place here as a move
forwards the light changes when I come between the pillars let’s do it with
Abby you prefer to see it a lot better to Ivy League against the wall beyond
Abby little white I kinda like that picks up
the Blues in her dress silo next see there’s a very strong
shadow house them behind so don’t miss the
light up this item is not quite strong shatter but some have her right probably work
let’s try again long lens say that I can make the background soft and
out-of-focus ok gentleman’s in of elm I rockets are usually they join in when
you say things I i right son just lining myself up to
believe that too late that have Abby looking down the wall very strong abs are Abby look at that I V come forward a
bit too behind the pillar note still against the wall but that perfect the life has changed go back a little bit nope that’s it tiny
shuffle thats colab a that’s a good look my there we go and we got some headshots lets you weakness in full-length concert
touring find somewhere we can go and do that bright sunny day the last thing you on
is sunshine straight into someone’s face nasty
shadows all that stuff so how would you go about if you don’t
have any shade like we had round the corner we can do by supermodel is put them in
their own shite look the Sun is behind us so our faces are n our own shade its pointing this way so also you got this room like
a C-five Abby shoulder and all the rest we got something or spin-off film look should young which version do here don’t say it again a second you’re being
filmed for program or Sharia Irish over 60 years younger for church are known for their I good luck to my I hope the gross-up I York normal something like that yes
crime watch the gel members say awkward Ramon nevermind take a SF I all I was cold you got to my room you gonna myra I thought I was your only
man anyway right backlight yet this a veteran like
come in and around Abby shoulders that kind of helps a
standout what about the background you thinking what about a messy background well think about it same building but
photography narrow field a few shallow depth of
field what’s a lens we want for that you should know this kinda stuff by now can
watch for free lenses videos if you’re not sure because we use this this stuff here
that’s going on behind Abby as the background so Abby you know
what to do you give a small poses do some cool
stuff meanwhile we are going up here so we can get our shot he could be a long way away to do this
kinda stuff course the problem is always gonna be on they’ll bump into someone doing this
the problem is always going to be isolating now a method in a bit have
Photoshop eat weakness so messy what we can do long lens Merrifield review Abby’s doing her thing I just gotta find
the place well I can isolate Abby woohoo pretty
much exposure gotta check that exposure make
sure makes posing for Abby and not for the background zemin checked the sharpness make sure
sharp that’s pretty good checked the histogram see what it looks like perfect okay now cause we got somebody is
walking through so well then walking through I was gonna
say in a darkened shell just but only a third of a stop
from tiny tiny bit darker because abby is new
blonde hair is kinda burning away join us again in a moment viewers when
the people have gone and they’ve got so let me get our shot
here up just change that okay abbe give us a do if a two part thing like that and
straight hits and just that’s a very angular thats okay it’s do another one night that’s yes pretty good okay you go back
to something here I’m do that let me say happy does these kinda Marilyn Monroe things which a really
quite cool no squinting I know it’s bright they good let’s go a bit closer saving
the summit the head and shoulders under the head and shoulders abs can
call her abs sounds like she’s an abdominal press in
a gym been on abdominal pressure to gym are
you you’re happy you do said ops good and wat punches right next to head and shoulders now
with the long lenses can be much easier to blow that background away get this nice looking like that’s nice I’m like that that’s cool Abby you good
at this maybe that’s why you signed on with all
those agencies I K and one more and they want any face sources say and turn your eyes to make Amo mall they’re pretty cool you get the idea the united with the pictures I have put
up the exposes the action arrested for having explain too much about why
because I want you guys to do some work I had to do some thinking to find the
places to make the picture work you seen a lot so my free videos now you
know about focal length lens in all the rest it if you don’t it’s because you’re not
practicing what’s in the videos you can learn just by watching videos my beginner’s tutorial to my sim
building blocks for photography dispute over phoenix poses for beginners
simmered in blocks photography is for the more advanced they will really take
it to the next level but the most important thing is for you
to get out there and think about it also notice I’m using my oil consumer
lands as we appreciate you don’t need an
expensive 28 lands have fun guys enjoy copy coffee coffee coffee loner copy you look like the Guadalupe the camera
subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified each time we upload one all cool
photography videos well for more great photo tips workshops
and training come in CSR website photography courses
da pace

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Great video as always Mike. Finding proper lightning locations as always been a challenge for me. Thanks for these great tips.

  2. Great video as always!  Just love all these very useful, no nonsense practical tip you give us, Mike!
    I thought I had to forget about portrait with my 70-200 mm lens with my crop sensor camera, but now I got some new ideas, thanks to this video.  Thanks a lot, Mike! 🙂

  3. Those were some great shots Mike^^ Knowing how the light works really is essential for taking great shots like that.
    By the way, which lens were you using for this? It looks a little more bulky and it's one of the push/pull zooms, so I guess it's just about as old as I am^^ I love lenses like that, I picked up a 25 years old 80-200mm f2.8 AF and the image quality is amazing.
    And just for 240€! That is why I chose Nikon, their old pro lenses are actually affordable. The Canon equivalent still costs about 800€.

  4. All these shots were taken in a 16:9 aspect ratio. With these shots I can see why, a skinny 16:9 portrait is ok though there are times I find myself wondering which aspect ratio to go for. And I tend to settle on 4:3. More height in landscape and less skinny in portrait. Would appreciate some pointers on this. Don't think I'm come across a clip that talks specifically about which aspect ratio is better for what.

  5. Great Video Mike! Abbey's looking good! Definetely going to try it out! Im getting the 7 blocks for christmas!

  6. Nice tutorial….tip for Abby, please don't use that same pout, it's exactly the same in each shot, and it dosn't even suit you.

  7. Thanks Mike for another fun and informative tutorial. You mentioned about the light working for young skin but not for older so how about another tutorial taking portraits of older people … you appeared to have a few candidates in this video. Good to see you are promoting your paid for courses. I am getting a lot from 7 Building Blocks. Cheers Vernon

  8. Great video but I think you should have used some flash light to balance the exposure between the subject and the background ???

  9. HI Mike great Vid as always, could i ask what lens you used as you said it was your old consumer lens ? I know its a 70-200 ?
     is it an old Film lens ? cheers  Dave

  10. Mike, I enjoy all your videos. You just make sense. Funny thing, after the last video I actually thought to myself, why do I enjoy your videos so much more than other pros that have videos out. And I think I figured it out ….. you shoot in places where we can all shoot. No exotic locations, you shoot at a mall….you wait out the people walking in front of your camera and then shoot great photos. All the while you're teaching us the why and how of what you are doing. I always come away feeling like I want to pick up my camera and do some shooting. I just wanted to say thank you!

  11. Great video and I like you challenge the audience to practice.

    I like Abby's new look, did she see a professional stylist?

    My favorite is the old guy in the scooter who wants to be 60 years younger! Haha, cracker!

  12. Excellent videos Mike. Especially from the Southampton area where I went to school 35 yrs ago. Hampshire is my favourite county I wish I lived there now! Can we have some more videos featuring the lovely Natasha.

  13. Thanks for the great tips. I have never thought of using a long lens for portraits. I agree with Vernon we need to know how to take oldies especially as I am one.

  14. great video – really liked the re-enforcement of being patient when in a busy area – I always get frustrated when there are too many people to get the shot I want – especially if you travelled a long way with little time.  In my head I always thought the 'professionals' had some secret I didn't know about.  Really appreciate the free videos and I am going through the 7 building blocks, you stand above a lot of other 'teachers' in that I find you can relate more to the amateur and put things in common language and theory.

  15. Hi Mike, quick question re using exposure compensation, is there anything wrong with just shooting using live view and and adjusting your shutter speed until it "looks right" in manual mode.  Seems to save a lot of mucking around with exposure metering.  

  16. Mike, thank you for the great video tutorials, I watched pretty much every single of them, and they are really helpful.
    One question about this video – why didn't you use a flash with an umbrella (and probably a 2-3 stops ND filter to get to f/4 in sunlight)? IMHO the model would benefit if some external light was added: no shade on the face, catch lights, more balanced background, and just more pop in general?

  17. nother great video Mike- you have a knack for zeroing in on the key issues and explaining how to solve them without lots of unnecessary dialogue- you get right to the point- and in a way that is easy to understand and put into practice immediately

  18. How on earth have a not heard of Mike before? I've watched a lot of YouTube tutorials over the years but this guy is something else. His teaching methods are light years ahead of any I've seen, I've learnt more in the past couple of weeks than ever before and more importantly retained more than ever. Both his passion and enthusiasm are infectious, I live in Romsey, hampshire, so a lot of the locations mike uses are also on my doorstep which is a huge bonus. Keep up the fantastic work mike.

  19. Just descovered your videos two days ago and I have to say: You make learning photography really fun and entertaining. Thanks for that!

  20. Mike, I've watched a plethora of your videos, they are fantastic!  Your presentation style is something mainstream TV could learn from! Thanks for these videos, they really are a treasure trove of some fantastic advice and how toos. 

  21. Great tutorial, but wouldn't it be better to use a shorter focal length and get closer for some pics ? Well, maybe it was intentional ?

  22. Follow you from the begining. Im a rooky in photography but I have learnt a lot.
    Never thought learning in such an easy way you display every topic. Thanks a lot

  23. @Mike Browne, this is a great video! I have learnt a lot about photography. Cant wait to see more of your stuff great job, keep at it. 

  24. I'm thankful for people like you exist on earth and thanks for your videos. Everytime i watch your videos i wanna shot more pictures. im from mongolia. I wanna ask you one thin. Could you make this video again please but this time choose person that has darker skin. Like african or indian people. Thank you. God bless you and your family. Sorry about my bad english.

  25. Hello Mike I have canon 70D and I want to buy 24-70mm lens what do you think about it, I like portarie, Landscape and nightphotography

  26. yes a photography teacher told me that it is not good for your camera because its not FF sensor, I want a lens that have the same quality. What do you think about 85mm? Oh god please Mr.Brown help me 🙁

  27. Great vid Mike…once again, I learn something every time I watch a video that I haven't seen…Thanks so much for you dedication..You're a great instructor!! Keep it up my friend!

  28. Hi  mike great video but have a question, you exposed for abbey but what happens if the back ground is too blown out I have had this problem when shooting in Thailand. I sometimes use a fill in flash but when shooting with a long lens it does not work

  29. Hey their I have a question I recently took a photo class and was dropped accused that the pictures were not mince. I had to submit 10 photos black and white but didn't know how to do that in my computer so I send them to myself through Gmail to my phone to do that and then send them back. But for some reason 3 picture came out as PNG so he dropped saying that that wasn't my work. But from web. I have all proof my camera the original picture my memory card everything but he doesn't want to see them. Can you please explain to me what PNG means ?

  30. I'm still fairly new to the world of Photography. I will be taking my Nikon D3200 with me to the Lake District later on this week to get some photographs.
    I'm very glad I found your YouTube video as it was very informative with regards to lighting and how to use it to your advantage. I will of course put this in to practice on my little holiday away.
    A huge thanks, Mike! I very much look forward to your future videos.

  31. Mike, first off your videos are by far the best tutorial videos I have found. Thanks for your efforts. Can you elaborate on when you say "I'm exposing for Abbie". Are you spot metering or Eavaluative/matrix metering?

  32. Sorry Scott Randall I can't reply directly to your comment – you need to check your G+ settings to allow me to. Your question -"Can you elaborate on when you say "I'm exposing for Abbie". Are you spot metering or Eavaluative/matrix metering?" 

    I use evaluative metering all the time and where needed adjust the exposure from what the camera 'thinks' is 'right' – to what i want it to be. In this case I wanted Abbi cleanly exposed and to let the background blow out a bit.

  33. I don't understand why you are so far from the subject. Which one of your videos explains the optics for that that technique?

  34. Thanks sir, I love your videos and Your using Normal DSLR with basic lens. No need Expensive lenses. Taking photography needs good angle and understanding subject, wawoo great sir. After watching you're videos I have CONFIDENCE to take good picture with any place any Situation. Tanks lot Sir. 👐 Hands off Sir….

  35. "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." Ansel Adams 🙂 I'm really enjoying all of your videos…they've taught me lots of new things. Thank you!

  36. What are these model photos used for? A layman like myself take photos of friends and relatives, but I haven't ever intentionally taken photos of other people. How do model photos tie in with the business of a professional photographer?

  37. hello Mike, i've watched all your vids they are amazing and they are very helpful…. thank you … nice work …… greatings from Holland

  38. I am still rubbish at planning my shoots (of any kind). Damn I have to use my head in an ever so slightly different way. Out and about practicing my composition yesterday and realized how many spots there are in my town where the tall buildings cut light out or act as a reflector.

  39. thanks Mike. i used my brain when walking with my sister a snagged a quick portrait on a very sunny day using her shade
    ………..a few months before our spectacular one2one day! DO IT! one day with this nut and one will be more confidant. take notes, he will wait, tell him to shusshhh so you can think and he will.

  40. I wonder if you manage to shoot with such a big lense from such a distance and still freeze the movement of the camera. I guess you have opened up your aperture as wide as possible and set the shutterspeed according to this long focal length. But did you have to choose a higher iso to manage that? By the way: I started watching your video's yesterday morning and I haven't stop watching since then. You are such a very inspiring person that you keep me from doing my other jobs at the moment!

  41. Mr Browne,
    Thanks for the video. Nice tips,
    I just got my camera, I'm from Kenya.
    Kind request : Can you kindly think of doing a video on shooting a dark model in so called bad light and at night. If possible.

  42. hi mike , i am not professional photographer . i love to take photo . But sad to say my picture color tone very bad . what should i do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *