I have a friend who's requesting to have shots made for his LinkedIn profile where he's being photographed at the Mount Auburn Cemetery under the shade of trees. What kind of lighting and modifiers do I need to get a good exposure @ ISO 400 and f/2.8 in AP mode?

  • 1
    Depending on time of day, there should be plenty of natural light available to make a good exposure. The question is, will the natural light give you the effect that you want? That is what you need to consider, and that's what going to determine what lighting you need.
    – Caleb
    Aug 2 '15 at 6:48
  • i use a softbox and expose for the sunlit background at max sync speed 1/250, which usually gives e.g F/9 at ISO 100. To use f/2.8 I'd use a ND filter. Aug 2 '15 at 14:45
  • 3
    Why do you specifically want to use ISO 400?
    – JDługosz
    Aug 2 '15 at 20:49
  • I think the Iso 400 is not an important factor, so probably can be changed to 200 or 100, am I right?
    – Rafael
    Aug 3 '15 at 5:03
  • ISO 400 would be a starting point given the amount of natural light. Since I have the Rebel T3i, it gets nasty above ISO 800. Ideally I'd shoot at ISO 200 but all I'll have is a speedlight, a reflector, and an umbrella to keep the gear easy to carry around.
    – dperry1973
    Aug 4 '15 at 14:13

It really depends on the angle of the sun at the time you take your photos and how much of the background is in the shade and how much is in direct sunlight. Anything from a small reflector to powerful studio strength flashes might be needed for fill light. To use f/2.8 at ISO 400 you're probably going to need some sort of neutral density filter unless you are shooting right around dawn or dusk.


Your friend probably wants pictures leaning back on the tree trunk, but it can be deep shade back in there (and green light, icky). Your best light will be out under the edge of the tree drip line, in the shade, but inviting open shade instead of deep shade. Maybe try some his way, but at minimum, try some of it the better way.

  • It's going to be in full shade as my "client" will be wearing a suit in warm August weather. I'm going to go for as much bokeh in the background as possible (the reason why I want to shoot f2.8 or wider). Thankfully we have options like flowers in the background which will give the bokeh more color than the green blobs. The important part is getting proper key light and exposure on his face.
    – dperry1973
    Aug 4 '15 at 14:15

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