Getting the best of both worlds by balancing the light.

One problem with camera lenses is that they don’t quite see things the way our eyes do. If you go outside to take a picture of someone with the sky visible in the background, your lens can only choose between the person having the proper brightness, or the sky having the proper brightness. Adjusting for one negatively impacts the detail of the other. There is a way around this, however. (All three of the following photos have had no editing done to them.)

Just balance the light! Set your camera settings so that the sky is properly exposed and your model is underexposed. Then use a speedlight or reflector and aim that light on your subject’s face. You end up with a photo where you can clearly see your subject and the sky at the same time!

I learned this technique from Caryn Esplin. Check out her excursion to Myanmar where she used this process to photograph the monks there.