Sometimes the hardest lighting setups to achieve are actually the ones that look the easiest. For years I’ve wanted to emulate that dappled lighting you see through leaves on a sunny day, or that rippled light you see at the bottom of a swimming pool when the wind catches the water. Like I said, this should be relatively easy to recreate in a studio in theory, as every natural light setup is only ever one light. How hard could that be? (<- photo-nerd pun)
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I often use flash with my own work, but natural light can be a wonderful thing. Especially when it comes from a directional source. In this slightly NSFW video, photographer Anita Sadowska discusses setting up for and shooting a lingerie session in her apartment. It’s interesting to hear the observations Anita makes about the light entering through the windows of the room as it changes throughout the day, and how it affects her shot.
Natural light or artificial light? Sure, it’s a matter of preference, but photographers Manny Ortiz and Jessica Kobeissi made an interesting challenge out of these two approaches. They had three rounds of photographing the same model in the same studio. Jessica used only natural light, and Manny added off-camera flash. Let’s check out the results and see which you prefer.
There’s a big belief surrounding portrait and fashion photography that you always need to have an elaborate lighting setup. While having a bunch of flashes and modifiers can certainly help, it isn’t always necessary. You can still produce great results in an indoor setting with natural light just streaming in through the window. As this behind the scenes video from photographer Irene Rudnyk proves.
Natural light is beautiful and can give you incredible shots if you know how to use it. But should you limit yourself only to the natural light? Photographer Jason Lanier discusses this matter in a very honest and objective way. As a photographer who used to shoot only in natural light and later learned artificial lighting, you’ll hear seven truths about being a “natural light photographer.”
Before the proliferation of speedlights and portable strobes over the last few years, people always asked me why I’d take flash out in the daytime. It was often difficult to formulate an answer that they’d accept. They never really “got it” unless I took them on a shoot with me so they could see first hand.
This video from photographer Manny Ortiz embodies the answer in my head, though. Essentially it’s about having options. Sometimes the natural light will give me exactly what I want, and sometimes it won’t. In the horrible British weather, for me it’s more often won’t. So, I take flash with me.
When most portrait photographers want to create a directional soft light look, they break out the strobes. Then they usually stick a big octabox on the front of it. But what if you don’t have all that gear? How else can you get soft directional light? Well, you may be able to use the window in your bathroom.
In this video, Jay P Morgan shows us how we can get great soft directional light using only what enters through the bathroom window. Or whatever room in which you happen to be shooting. It’s a great technique if you don’t have flash gear and want to practise your portraits.
This week we will be looking at adding style to your natural light photographs. Recently I have shot against my usual style, which is off camera flash. The reason for this being I want to challenge myself to shoot in different circumstances and to gain more experience when not using flash. The image above was a commissioned client shoot. The location was Selby abbey. It wasn’t the planned location, but hey, when you stumble upon a location this good, you gotta use it. And when you have an amazing selection of headpieces from Creations by Liv Free to use, we probably couldn’t have unplanned it any better haha. As you can probably tell the image didn’t pop out of the camera looking like it does above. I wanted to take natural light photography and infuse it with my own style. So let’s get into how I did that. [Read More…]
When you decide to take the step from natural light and start shooting with artificial lighting, you may not know where to start learning. Daniel and Rachel from Mango Street have teamed up with photographer Daniel DeArco to introduce you to the basics of studio lighting. And when they do it, it seems less scary and it will help you successfully take the first steps.
In today’s modern photography there can be a stigma that almost everything seen in magazines, online or in editorial publication has been photoshopped to make the models look slimmer, softer and more shapely. What if with a few simple “in camera” steps you could minimize the amount of work that needs to be done in post-production. Here are a few simple tips to remember when shooting on location that will save you time and increase your productivity in post production.