I felt like the last posts were super heavy and I wanted to lighten it up a little–no pun intended:) This post is for anyone with any camera.
**For a printable PDF version of this post click here.
I’m going to start with a few stories that lead into today’s topic–looking for the light in photography.
Story #1 About 6 years ago when I was still shooting on auto, I started looking around other photographers blogs/websites and would often see this: “I shoot only natural light….” I remember calling in my husband laughing and saying, “well, sheesh, that’s funny, anyone can shoot natural light, its the easiest part of photography.” Little, little did I know what the phrase natural light really meant. I only knew that in my auto settings when I was outside, I got better pictures than when I was inside with my flash. Am I right? I think we all know that. I used my flash outside–if the camera thought it needed to pop up–and sometimes I didn’t.
Story #2 I still regularly peruse photographers blogs. I love to look for inspiration and get to know them through their writing. I am very surprised when I read their happiness that they got to shoot on an overcast day. And this isn’t always from the mouth of mediocre photographers (me–6 years ago) but from those that I respect that produce great work. Now don’t get all embarresed if you have thought that or said that before, because I get it. The sun is a very tricky beast! It can be difficult to work around. I am going to give you some tips here on taming that beast–having the sun work to your advantage to where you actually want to have the sun around to give that beautiful golden glow.
With all that said, I now consider myself a natural light photographer. My flash and lightsphere diffuser usually stay at home. I know some photographers also use them outside to even the light on a subjects face or to bring the catch light into the eyes, but I personally don’t. I like to work with just my camera, to achieve the most natural of lights.
Light in the Eyes
I mentioned the catch light. When photographing an individual, always look for the light in their eyes. Turn them around until you get it. If not, you will get what photographers often call, dead eyes (and dark bags under eyes–racoon eyes–often accompany that). Here is an example taken just for this tutorial.
She is standing in the exact same spot. The shot on the left, the sun is behind her. The shot on the right, she is looking in the direction of the sun. Now, she is still in the shade, but what I like to call open shade. It is at the edge of the shade line, just before you hit the sun line. I took a picture of the scene so you can understsand a bit better.
P.S. I am doing a comment appreciation giveaway over on my blog. If you’ve commented there recently, you might be a little happy:)