Golden or magic hour is the favorite time of day of most photographers who love using natural light. The only trouble with it is that it lasts, well, an hour, so you have to be at your location at a very specific time. Guys at Inkifi have created The Golden Hour Index, a tool that lets you determine the exact moment when the magic hour starts and ends. It works wherever in the world you are and lets you get the most of this time of day.
Simulating daylight with artificial lighting is not a trivial task. You’re faking a light that’s 93 million miles away. That means it’s an extremely tiny light source with light rays that flow almost parallel to each other, which has a huge effect on the shadows. But that’s not the only factor in daylight. There’s also that blue sky.
So, how can we set about reproducing it realistically? Well, Matt over at DIY Perks has a solution which, naturally, is a DIY one. And it does it by recycling an old satellite TV dish and combining it with a high powered LED (he recommends this one if you want to try it for yourself). It’s an absolutely fascinating approach that looks a lot more at the actual science of daylight than most photographers and filmmakers do.
Shooting outdoors with natural light only can be demanding and tricky, especially if you’re shooting on a sunny day. But, although it’s challenging, it’s definitely not impossible to take impressive portraits even in the harsh midday sun. In this video, Miguel Quiles teams up with Dan and Sally Watson to bring you four quick and useful tips for shooting when you’ve got nothing but sunlight available.
With a heatwave rolling over America & Europe, photographers are going to be dealing with some pretty direct light. Here are some tips about dealing with harsh shadows and high contrast.
This blog is pretty good timing, as I have just come back from a shoot in the UK. 10 lucky winners in association with Sigma UK and Amateur Photography Magazine, had won the chance to come down to London and photograph two traditional Geisha (Mai Watanabe and Chiyono Watanabe.) I was asked to set up the shoot & help with the lighting as part of the day.
Photographing Geisha’s on a London Rooftop with the direct & bright sun was not ideal. But with some thinking, we worked out a set up that was pretty good. The main objective of the shot was to show the color of the face and keep the flat color tones. I wanted to show the makeup as much as possible. Getting the image as soft as possible while still showing the colors in the silk was another objective. The bright sunlight was very overpowering and creating deep shadows.
Shooting in direct sunlight is something most photographers and filmmakers avoid. The light is harsh and not very flattering, but sometimes you’ll be forced to shoot in such conditions. In this video from Cinecom, you’ll learn five simple tricks to make the absolute best out of harsh midday sun.
It’s summer and the days are long and sunny. If you shoot portraits outdoors, the harsh midday sun may mess up with your plans. You can embrace it and incorporate it into your shots, but you can also create your own shade and modify or even block the harsh rays of the sun. In this 2-minute video, photographer David Bergman of Adorama will show you a couple of possible solutions for creating your own shade without changing the shooting location.
The sunlight on an overcast day is a soft light ideal for photos and videos. And in this video tutorial, George and Kevin of Filmora will teach you how to emulate the look of sunlight when shooting indoors. It takes very little time, it’s a pretty affordable setup, and you can use it for both video and stills.
The golden hour is probably the time when most of us would choose to take photos. But, there will be times when you’ll be forced to shoot in a harsh midday sun, for one reason or the other. You can bring reflectors, strobes, or try to find or make a shade. But in this video, Manny Ortiz will give you some quick tips on how to embrace the direct sunlight and turn it into your advantage without any gear but your camera and lens.
Even though harsh midday sun is far from an ideal lighting situation, sometimes you’ll have no other choice. In this video, Jay P. Morgan shows you four ways to make the best of that direct sunlight and turn it into your advantage. He demonstrates three setups that only use the sunlight, and the fourth one adds a strobe to the equation. But in all cases, you’ll end up with great portraits even in the otherwise unflattering direct sunlight.
I love it when the warm light of the setting sun fills up the room. It looks nice in photos, and it’s good to know that you can recreate it at any time of day. In this video from Adorama TV, photographer David Bergman will show you how to mimic the warm sunlight using only a single speedlight.