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try boosting the exposure of the image in LR and then bring down the highlights a bit so that they aren't blown out.
Something to keep in mind when shooting is what angle the light is hitting your subjects. Try to shoot in the direction that gives you the light that you want on your subject. Standing on the otherside of your subject so that you are shooting from her left when she is facing you would have the sun completely on her face so you don't have part of the face in the sun and the other in dark shadow.
Another option is to shoot at your subjects with the sun behind them, so you get a nice rim light on them. You can expose for the person and let the background be over exposed as your subject is what matters, or you can use a fill flash to illuminate your subject and keep the background properly exposed as well.
When you do spot mettering with the sun behind the subject, do you use AV mode? I once tried to use Manual but the camera exposure meter was confused. The line went up and down so fast and busy. I don't understand why?
When you want to turn down a flash power, you have to use the flash in manual? Can the camera be in Av mode with flash in manual mode? I really don't know how to use a flash. Tried to read the manual and speed liter book but so confusing. Help!
Thank you your wonderful ideas above. I really appreciate it. I'll try it some time.
If I am using spot metering, I am generally in AV mode. In manual, I usually chimp a little in the beginning to get my settings correct, then once it is set, I forget about it. What flash were you using? If you are using a Canon flash like a 580exII, you can use ettl or manual. If you are using ettl, you can turn down the flash by adjusting the flash exposure compensation. If it is in manual, you just adjust the flash power itself. Yes, the camera can be in AV mode while the flash is in manual mode. So the thing with flash is, you are adding an additional exposure to your image. So, say you were using it at the Obon Festival, you have one exposure which is the sun (or natural/ambient light) and you have a second exposure which is your flash. You need to handle both exposures. There are different ways of doing this and trying to explain it here would be pretty hard. There are books you can get to teach you about flash photography, or you can go to this website: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html Go through lighting 101 and stuff on there. It should shed some light on the subject ;)
this thread could be useful as well:
Thank you for the link, Mike :)
Thank you for the tips as well, Mike. I'm using 430EXII Canon.
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