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sunset

How to create soft outdoor portraits with direct flash

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How to create soft outdoor portraits with direct flash

As an outdoor beach and sunset portrait photographer in Oahu, Hawaii, I continually face the challenge of dealing with bright, reflective sunshine and never enough flash power. It's a constant balancing act between having enough flash power to light up my clients but also trying to create a soft and pleasing light on them as well. Since I work alone without an assistant, any modifier I try to use ends up being a sail in the ever present Hawaii tradewinds and takes my flashes for a swim in the waves (four down and counting to date!). Eventually, I finally figured out a solution that gives me the best of both needs - lots of power for outdoor direct sun portraits and yet a relatively soft look for bare direct flash.

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