How to Create the Perfect Hero Shot in Broad Daylight

Pye Jirsa of Lin & Jersa Photography is back again with another great tip on how to make fantastic images in less than stellar light. Pye explained in his last video how to create golden hour without the sun, and in this new video, he shows how to take an awesome "hero shot" in harsh sunlight using a single strobe (and an elephant, but let's focus on the light here). Oftentimes, photographers are doing whatever we can to soften our light. We use softboxes and umbrellas, we bounce the light or use a fill card, we wait for the oh-so-luscious golden hour, but there are definitely times when harsh lighting can give you the exact result you want. To make this awesome shot, Pye simply had an assistant blast a Profoto B1 at full power from just outside the frame, providing definition and separation of the subject from the background (yeah I know, he also had an elephant, you're on your own looking for one of those).

The shot is technically simple, but being able to see the photo in your head, then make it happen in real life, is the real skill here. Knowing how light works, how to craft it, and how to bring it all together on the fly, is what separates the good from the great.

[image used with permission from Lin & Jirsa Photography] 

[Via SLR Lounge]

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13 Comments

" make it happen in real life, is the real skill here."
I would say figuring how to make the elephant walk through the set several times is the real skill here.

Andrew Richardson's picture

They had a professional elephant-walker-guide-man there to handle that part. Good point though.

Olafs Osh's picture

Good tut, quality and all.

*I just don't get couples, who turn their big day into a photoshoot. The day is not about them anymore, but it should.

Jeff McCollough's picture

They will have the that photo for the rest of their lives. I bet you don't have any awesome photos like that haha.

Olafs Osh's picture

why such tone, "haha"'s and all?
And no - I am not riding any elephants in my wedding images, no. But I don't have a desire for such as well.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Tone? What tone? Oh and the hahas were for the joke I was making.

In the end the photographer has to make the clients happy. It might not be your style so then they might not hire you. It's not quite my style either but if my clients were dead-set on it then I will do it. Some big production like that would look amazing in any portfolio.

Olafs Osh's picture

I loved photohraphers work.

I am so sorry, I went offtopic from photography for a bit.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Haha No I'm sorry for sounding harsh.

Andrew Richardson's picture

Remember that Indian weddings are oftentimes multi-day affairs and a really huge deal. Go big or go home and all that.

Miles Trevelyan-Johnson's picture

there is an elephant grazing at the end of my driveway.........finding suitable models, costumes, saddle, adornments and matching umbrella is the challenging part.....oh and convincing everyone that its a good idea to take the shackles off the elephant

Great infomercial. I'll take 5!

Jozef Povazan's picture

Guys, This is not a real wedding but editorial shoot to get these kind of HERO shots so they can go and go all over again with the elephant... Pye basically promotes B1 :) but any strobe which has enough juice to overpower sun would do just fine :) And yes I also prefer do it on the first time if possible directly in camera and let the couple go to enjoy themselves on the real wedding, but on editorial shoot we would run until me or client who wants the images is WOWed :)