Golden Hour. How many times have you heard about it? Or how many times have I said it? Countless. It is the ideal time to take photos for the sun is not too bright and harsh. It gives a dramatic effect. That is why you see many photoshoots during the sunset. How many times have I been torn in choosing between two spots. If only I can be in two places at once. Doing portraits during sunset is also one of my favorites.
Starting a shoot about an hour before sunset is always a good idea, the sun is still bright enough and not too orangey. That is what happened with this shoot.
It was nice to see a bit of glow against the skin. However, too much sun can come off harshly as well that it can highlight some unwanted stuff. Easily corrected and smoothed out with Photoshop though, so not a big deal. More light in the pic is better than less.
One of the things that I have not done before, that I did with this shoot, was to shoot with an ND Filter. To tell you honestly, it did not happen on purpose. I accidently shoot portraits with it. Surprise, surprise! It actually worked. The sunset was no overpowering the photo. It provided a good backdrop. However, the problem is the main subject being slightly darkened.
I believe that a graduated ND Filter may work better in this case where you want only a certain area darkened. It may not be a big problem having to darken or lighten a specific area, but I like editing my photos more on Lightroom than Photoshop.
Try shooting some portaits with a ND filter! And I now realize that I should read more or study more about these filters to fully unleash their potential. One thing that I like about shooting and experimenting is actually being surprised by the results. Not too shabby.—Claire