Lighting Diagram – Seth Outdoors

We photographed Seth during Halloween and his parents booked a session for Christmas.  We went to a scenic location and had fun making Seth smile for the camera.  Again… this little guy should be a post child for Gerber.

The End Result

Photography Lighting Diagram

More of an outtake than anything but I cracked up on his expression.

Photography Lighting Diagram

The Diagram

Photography Lighting Diagram

How it was shot

Being this was taken at almost 5pm the light was still a little harsh…and it needed taming.  Sometimes less is more.  In this situation we found an appealing background to place Seth and his family in front of.  When you are out and about, try to find backgrounds which are not overly busy.  I try to envision what the background will look like when it is blurred from shooting shallow.

The lighting is provided by the sun.  We used a 4×6 diffusion panel to knock down the harsh light and it really did a great job here.  The panel was simply placed between the subject and the sun. Nothing really amazing but I think the results are much nicer than if you were to shoot the scene without a diffusion panel.  Nice soft light all around with the pane in place.

I did have to back up a ways to photograph them with the 200mm  @ F/3.2   Distance to subjects would be about 20 feet… maybe a little less.  ***Exif data in shot #2 reads wrong, I was not 44m from the subjects. About 5 meters at most.***

Camera Settings

Manual Mode
1/500th a sec
ISO 400

The Gear List

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About the Author
Frank Hatcher | Professional photographer based out of Phoenix Arizona.


  1. Chan says:

    Checking out the exif, you were 44.3 meters away from subject not 20 feet! Did I make a mistake?

    1. The Exif data is wrong in shot #2 and I’ve added the info to the post. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was about 5 meters from them at most. 44 meters away would make them look tiny. Thanks again. Hatch

  2. Dave says:

    On the photo with Seth alone (and to a lesser degree with the other as well), there seems to be warm soft light on his left front (camera right) and cooler light on his right rear (giving rim light on his hair, and shirt. If the diffusion panel is between the sun and Seth (presumably the warm soft light on his left front) then what is causing the rim light on his rear right?

    1. Hi Dave,
      I see the color temps you are talking about. I think this is just the white balance in the image. The panel is to camera right and you are correct, it’s providing the diffused warm light. I didn’t have anything else in the scene pushing light back on to him or the parents in the second image. I just opened the image up in LR3 and the original was shot @ a WB of 5200 then adjusted to 4100. There is still some warm tones on the right and this is where the almost blue color you see on the shadow side is showing. With the blue tones in the background it’s a little more noticeable in the top image than the bottom image. Hope this helps clear things up. Hatch