How do you know when you’ve found “good light?” In this video, photographer Sean Tucker will try to answer this question. This is the first video in a series that deals with finding and using good natural light in your work. Since photography literally means “writing with light,” Sean’s goal is to help you learn “how to write with it.”
Seeing and using light properly is certainly one of the most important aspects of photography. There will be cases when you won’t be able to use artificial lighting to create your own setup. Or perhaps you simply prefer natural over artificial light. In such cases, your task is to find the ideal natural light for your shots. In the first video of the series, Sean demonstrates taking portraits in the natural light, in a very specific situation.
Sean took a portrait in an alley in London. The open, bright sky is high above the model, and the dark walls at her sides act almost like black flags. There is no direct sunlight, but there are still some shadows under the model’s eyes. In cases like this, you can always use something to fill in the shadows and shape the natural light. It doesn’t have to be a reflector – a white paper bag or a piece of paper will be enough. Other than filling in the shadows, it will also add a second pair of catchlights and make the eyes stand out.
As Sean points out, “how to recognize good light?” is a very good question. As a matter of fact, it can be “the question.” So, hopefully, his series will guide you on the way of recognizing the good light and using it in your images. To follow this series, make sure to subscribe to Sean’s YouTube channel.
[Finding Good Natural Light for Portraits (‘Good Light’ Series) | Sean Tucker]