Today in Zeferino Professional Lighting we want to give some basic tips for those who are preparing to shoot outdoors, they will be of great help. Many people think that filming outdoors with natural light is simple, but it is wrong. It is true that you do not have to think about setting up all the lighting, but the use of sunlight has its own drawbacks. Below we will list a series of tips for shooting outdoors; from the necessary settings in your camera to how to position your subjects on the set.

  • Position the actors so that the sun is at their back, it will sound strange, but you will see that the effect it creates is very pleasant. It manages to create a halo of light around the subject, making a backlight that will make all the hair shine. Use reflectors to illuminate the face with a subtle light that will be more flattering, creating a very aesthetic general effect.


  • The light is more favorable in the early morning and at sunset, when the sun is not yet up, so that recording at that time will help you get off to a good start.
  • If you want to control the contrast on a sunny day, consider placing the subject under the shade of a tree; the camera will control the contrast difference more easily.
  • Always evaluate the environmental lighting conditions and configure your camera accordingly. On sunny days, use an image profile that makes it flatter and in the cloudy ones use one that has more contrast to compensate for the loss of environmental contrast.
  • If you can not place the subject with the sun behind, one of the solutions is to use a translucent thirst, acting as a folding reflector. This will allow you to soften the artificial light with the diffusion gel.
  • Remember that the difference in color temperature between shadows and sunlight can be extreme. If you want to balance the shadow, move towards the light so that the images are orange and vice versa; If you want to balance the sun, go in the shade so that the images have a bluish appearance. Always taking into account the skin tones.
  • It is important to know that the focal length of the lens you use will affect the contrast of the scene. In a general plan, you may simply need a graduated neutral density filter that balances the sky with the background. However, if it is a close-up it is best to use a reflector, silk or Ultracon. It is a matter of having the right tools to balance the lighting and achieve a good result.


  • Controlling shadows is one of the great challenges when you’re going to shoot in the sunlight. If you record on a cloudy day or find a shadow, it will be easier for you. You can also control the shadows if you use a reflector. Reflectors are used to bounce light.
  • Invest in a matte box for production. Along with a French visor, help control the scattered light that bounces off the lens, creating a creamy appearance. What is known as the lens’s brightness. That way, you can control the level of aesthetic shine you use in your final image.
  • Both the camera and graduated neutral density filters are very important tools for recording outdoors. The camera will help you improve the image before recording to optimize the digital negative for postproduction. Neutral density, will help you maintain a uniform contrast ratio from the ground to the sky in bright environments. The essential outdoor filters are; A polarizer, a fixed neutral density filter, a graduated neutral density filter and a “Ultracon” contrast reduction filter.
  • Remember that, if you know that the material is going to be stamped. It is best to record the images as they are, without corrections. This gives the color editor full freedom. An important issue is to AVOID overexposure. There is nothing that can be done in post-production to rescue the parts of an image burned by overexposure.
  • In short, think carefully about how you would use sunlight as if it were artificial light.

¡We hope that this post help you to your next outside shooting!

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