Faking that golden hour glow at 1pm
For those of you who don't know, golden hour is that time right before and during sunset when everything has this brilliant, dreamy glow. If it were up to us photographers, we would probably book every client at golden hour. Shoot, if it were up to us we would ask God to keep golden hour lighting all day! Anyway, working with clients means working with other people's schedules, which will often result in having to shoot in less than ideal lighting. Have no fear, though! Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are here to save us! While we can't do anything about changing the angle of the light coming in, we can always use local adjustment to warm up the sun rays while keeping the rest of our image in perfect white balance. My first tip would be to plan your shot. This method won't work with every single shot as a bail safe. As a matter of fact, it is quite easy to over do and over use this method so be careful. Anyway, I planned my shot by keeping my subjects in the shade. Since the light was peaking in on the background it was a lot easier to sell this effect. Since my subjects were in the shade, I brought in the AD200 with my 27" parabolic softbox to make sure they were properly exposed. So I planned my shots and with careful placement I fired these off and was very happy with the results. Once I got all of my initial settings dialed in and I got my photograph to look the way I wanted it was time for the effect. I grab a radial filter and I turn up the temperature by about 24 points. I add between .33 and .66 stops on the exposure slider and bump up the highlights a bit as well. I also lower the clarity slider to about -50. This provides the dreamy feel. Once I have those settings dialed in I simply add the radial mask onto the image where the sun is coming in from. I then click on the brush button and paint the effect onto parts of the photograph where the sunlight is spilling. Voila! That's it! a simple and subtle effect that provides a powerful impact on your image. You can get more dramatic with it and use range masks to be more precise in your selections. I will be making a post about range masks on here in the near future.
How to use it:
Firstly, after you've posed your models and composed your shot, you may expose your shot for the background. (this means you set your shutter speed, aperture and ISO accordingly so that the background is lit the way you want it, regardless of how under-exposed your models will be.)
When you have your desired exposure set, the second step is to bring in the light as close as you can without ruining the composition.
Third step is to then adjust your power settings until the models are perfectly exposed along with the background. It may take a few test fires to find the perfect balance.
Camera: Canon EOS R
Strobe: Godox AD200
@ 1/4 + .3 power