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Quick Tip: How to Balance Strobe and Sun for Dramatic Mid-Day Portraits


The best time to shoot portraits (or almost anything) is golden hour, but it’s not the only time. Grab an ND filter, a strobe, and this tutorial by Portland-based photographer Levy Moroshan, and you can capture dramatic portraits in the mid-day sun.

Moroshan’s technique is very straight forward, and a great intro to daylight strobe shooting for beginners. It consists of just two steps.

Step 1: After positioning himself, his model, and his light the way he wants, he takes a strobe-less photo with the ND filter on and adjusts the ISO to expose for the background the way he wants it.

Step 2: He turns on the strobe and gradually turns up the power until he’s exposed his subject properly.

For our money, some of these pictures look a bit underexposed, but the technique is adjustable until you’ve got exactly the look you want. And remember, if it’s an option, you can use High Speed Sync instead of an ND filter.

Check out the full tutorial up top, and if you like what you see, head over to Moroshan’s sector5films YouTube channel for more.

(via ISO 1200)