Natural Light Photography Tips from National Geographic Photographer Bob Holmes

If you prefer working with natural light for your photography, you will definitely pick up some great tips from National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes.

As basic as it is, shooting in natural light (or available light) remains popular among photographers because of its simplicity, convenience, and beautiful results. Many photographers prefer to work solely with natural light over using lighting equipment — and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you can produce great photos and achieve your intended results with this method, then, by all means, go with it. But, it requires a lot of practice and learning to be able to make the most of it. You have to be able to understand how light creates and affects your image. National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes, who only does natural light photography, gives a bunch of great tips on how to get stunning photos in this method.

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How to Find Good Natural Light for Portrait Photography

Shooting portraits in natural light only works well if you have a good light source. Here’s how to find it, even in tricky locations.

Natural light is both a blessing and a curse for portrait photography. If the light is good, it’s easy to get beautiful and interesting results. Otherwise, you practically can’t work with it and will have no choice but to use flash. Therefore, half of the work is looking for the kind of natural light that works for the look you want. In a quick video, Sean Tucker brings some tips for finding natural light when shooting portraits, even in locations where it may seem to be difficult to shoot.

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Using the Zenit 85mm F1.4 for Natural Light Portrait Photography

Using the Zenit 85mm f1.4 on the Canon EOS R was challenging and interesting.

When it comes to using manual focus lenses like the Zenit 85mm f1.4, you really need a tripod or a monopod to make the most of it. It’s a longer focal length and that requires manual focus. When you do that, the simple nature of turning the battel means you’re going to stabilize the whole scene. That’s what I encountered with the Zenit 85mm f1.4 while using it. And unfortunately, it doesn’t have AF/AE contacts. This would have helped alleviate the issue as the Canon EOS R has arguably the best focus peaking and manual focus assistance in the industry.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Making the Most Out of Natural Light

Want to shoot better natural light portraits? With the tips from today’s photography cheat sheet, you should be able to make the most out of different natural lighting conditions.

When done right, shooting in natural light can yield some gorgeous results, especially for portraits. But the main challenge with it is it’s constant light, so you have to make adjustments and adapt your shooting style and settings to account for that. Today’s photography cheat sheet especially addresses that with some tips on two styles you’ll typically use in natural light portrait photography.

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Three Natural Light Setups to Try for Gorgeous Boudoir Photography

Whether you prefer to work with natural light, or don’t have studio lights yet, this boudoir photography tutorial will give you some great ideas.

Working with light to create mood is a significant component of beautiful boudoir photography. Some photographers prefer to do this by shooting in locations with gorgeous natural light. Others prefer working this way to make the most of available light and minimize their shooting setup. If this sounds like something you want to try, let this video tutorial by Los Angeles-based Michael Sasser be your guide on three ways to shoot with natural light for beautiful boudoir portraits.

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How to Master Backlighting for Natural Light Portrait Photography

Want the dreamy look that remains popular in portrait photography today? You might want to learn how to master backlighting when shooting in natural light.

If you hold a preference for natural light portrait photography, you might find backlighting as one the effective techniques to use for creating dreamy images. It’s not as simple as just shooting outdoors with the sun behind your subject, but a technique with the goal of a moody yet balanced look for portraits. In this quick video tutorial, Sydney-based fashion photographer Julia Trotti show us how it’s done and we can master it. Backlighting is just one of the techniques at your creative arsenal once you choose to do portrait photography in natural lighting. It gives your photos that dreamy and flattering look that many photographers are going for fashion editorials, wedding photography, and even themed portraits. With Trotti’s tips, you can start experimenting with this technique in no time.

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Three Modern Day Masters of Natural Light Street Photography

Ask a photographer what the most important aspect of a good photo is, and they will tell you it’s good light. 

Lighting will make or break a photograph. You could have the most interesting subject in the world, but if it isn’t lit well then you may as well forget about it. From softboxes to strobe lights; flashguns to Rotalights, we have come with wonderful ways of ensuring our sensors capture the best possible images. Unlike manufactured light, however, ambient light is much trickier to take control of. It often requires being a tad more creative and working with what you’ve got. That, overall, demands an adaptable mind that enjoys playing around. With the great work being produced underneath the earth’s sun – let’s take a look at the modern-day masters of natural light.

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Seven Reasons Flash Is Superior to Natural Light for Portrait Photography

Do you want more or less control over your lighting when photographing portraits?

With the number of portrait photographers proclaiming that they only shoot in natural light perplexingly on the rise, one begs to question why someone wouldn’t want to have full control over how they lit their portrait subjects. This is something that photographer Craig Beckta addressed in his latest video, where he shares the seven reasons why he believes flash is better for portraits than natural light.

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Natural Light vs Off Camera Flash for Outdoor Portrait Photography

Learn how to work with both natural lighting and off camera flash outdoors in this quick portrait photography tutorial.

Spotted a picture-perfect location for some portrait photography projects and practice? Working with natural light isn’t your only option to get some impressive shots. In this quick video, find out what you can achieve with both natural light and off camera flash, and decide which look you want.

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Using A Reflector For Natural Light Boudoir Photography

Featured Image Is A Screen Grab From The Video Featured In This Post. All Credit To Jen Rozenbaum and Westcott.

If you have not heard; reflectors are a natural light photographers best friend. These handy discs help photographers bounce light, filling in the shadows on a subject in a pleasing way. Natural light photography is incredibly popular in the boudoir niche, and today we have a great video showing how to use a reflector to make the most out of the window light available. Continue reading…

Using a 50mm Lens for Natural Light Boudoir Photography

Screenshots taken from the video.

As societal taboos ebb and flow, Boudoir Photography has been on the rise, becoming a more common and accepted niche of photography than it ever has been. Many of you have likely seen boudoir work by photographers you follow and have maybe been thinking about getting into it a little yourself. If so, this post is for you as we share some great points for utilizing natural light and a 50mm lens to create some fun boudoir imagery. Continue reading…

Useful Photography Tip #157: Natural Light Portraiture in the Shade

Model: Clay Von Carlowitz

Model: Clay Von Carlowitz

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

When shooting portraits in natural light there are three different scenarios: in full blown sunlight, in the shade, or a combination of the two. Each lend themselves to different situations and effects, but by far the most reliable for a standard portrait is to shoot in the shade.

The biggest reason: consistent lighting. 

With two types of light, you’re getting a result that you need to meter twice for.

With sunlight, you’re often getting a result where you may create unflattering shadows or have a super crazy difference in metering (which could be okay).

But when shooting in the shade, you get completely even lighting to work with when it comes to the exposures. The lighting also usually comes from the side if you’re working with something like an awning. This can give off a natural softbox effect.

Keep this in mind when shooting portraits!

Useful Photography Tip # 113: Use TTL Flash Lighting to Blend Effectively with Natural Light

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 90mm f2.8 images with phottix mitros flash (1 of 5)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 5.6

Want more useful photography tips? Click here.

If we didn’t tell you so, most folks would think that the photo above was shot with ambient natural lighting. And most of those folks would be dead wrong. We did it by using a TTL flash with a large Rogue Flashbender. Considering the miniscule size of the flower, the light from the large panel provides some very soft lighting when the according shutter speed is used to mix in enough ambient lighting.

To refresh, when it comes to shooting with a flash, your shutter speed lets in the ambient lighting while your aperture controls the amount of light that hits the subject from the flash. And in a situation when you’re working with lots of ambient lighting and you just want to add some fill light, you should use TTL flash lighting to blend effectively with natural light.

TTL lighting is so effective because it works with the camera’s metering to provide an even exposure to the scene. If you were working with the light manually, then it would require some extra steps and may probably not even give you anything near the results you were looking for. But when blending TTL lighting with your camera’s metering, all you have to do is tell it to go brighter or darker accordingly. Of course, we also recommend using a large light modifier in relation to your subject.

If you want to do this with manual metering, it requires you to take an ambient light reading, then a flash light reading, and then somehow or another figure out a happy medium depending on what kind of look you’re going for. And again, that depends on your own creative vision.

These Tips Will Level Up Your Backlit Portrait Photography Game

© 2020 Pauleth Ip / PI Creative

Are you a fan of the backlit portrait look but not sure how to achieve it? Let us show you how with our latest original infographic!

Backlighting subjects is a popular technique used in portrait photography, popular amongst portrait photographers who prefer to work with natural light. When properly executed, backlit portraits take on a natural and aesthetically pleasing quality. If you’ve wanted to give this style a try, but weren’t quite sure how to pull it off, we’ve got you covered!

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Showdown of the Portrait Photography Focal Lengths: 85mm vs 135mm

Both 85mm and 135mm lenses are highly sought after options for portrait photography, but which focal length reigns supreme?

When it comes to portrait photography, many photographers will naturally reach for an 85mm or 135mm prime lens. Both lenses are equally capable of delivering stunning results in the right hands. However, there are fundamental differences between the two focal lengths that give each lens unique advantages. Understanding them will allow you to pick the most appropriate option at your next portrait session.

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Portrait Photography: How to Shoot Stunning Portraits with 35mm Primes

Do-it-all 35mm primes are as great for portraits as they are for anything else when you know how to make the most of them.

We have waxed lyrical about 35mm primes for years here at The Phoblographer, but just know that it’s for good reasons. These seemingly simple lenses can do so much that we truly believe everyone should own one, and while you might think they might not be great for portrait photography, we have to tell you you would be wrong. 35mm primes are fantastic for portraits. After the break, we will talk you through how you can create gorgeous environmental portraits and more with your humble 35mm primes.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: A Super Easy Guide to Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt Lighting is a popular technique for portrait photography.

Chances are that if you’re really into portraiture, that you’ve studied work that includes Rembrandt lighting. This method is popular partially because it’s such a flattering lighting option. It’s known for the signature triangle that you see on the face because of the angle. And like all photography these days, it’s pretty much just about the angles. Luckily for you, it can be done with both natural light and off-camera lighting. We always prefer to control the lighting that we put in the scene. Today, we’ve got our own original cheat sheet for you, along with supplementary info.

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Isabella Tabacchi’s Astrophotography Under Namibia’s Surreal Night Sky

All photos by Isabella Tabacchi. Used with permission.

The night sky has always fascinated bright minds for the mystery and stunning imagery it brings, making it a popular subject among artists and photographers. Bologna-based landscape photographer Isabella Tabacchi, for example, found it her favorite part of everyday life and a potent source of inspiration for her work. If you are drawn to photographing landscapes against the night sky, you’ll definitely find her snaps in Namibia nothing short of surreal.

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The Golden Spiral: Step Your Photography Composition Game

Careful composition for a cognac ad using the Golden Spiral

When it comes to photography composition, the Golden Spiral is an aesthetically pleasing but often overlooked alternative to the commonly used Rule of Thirds.

When it comes to photography composition, the “Rule of Thirds” is the first rule to come to mind for most photographers. It’s a tried and true method that guarantees visually pleasing results. However, it’s not the be-all end-all when it comes to composition rules. To quote Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back, “There is another.” In our latest infographic, we will be covering one such alternative: the Golden Spiral. Sometimes referred to as the Golden Ratio or the Golden Proportion, it’s another effective compositional tool that can help create truly engaging images. It even went by the “Divine Proportion” moniker during the Renaissance. Let’s check it out.

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What Film Emulsion Should I Choose? A Guide for Analog Photography

There’s never been a more exciting time to start shooting analog. In our latest original infographic, find out which film emulsion is right for you.

The reports of film’s death are greatly exaggerated. In fact, there’s never been a more exciting time to start shooting analog. If you’re new to the world of film photography, welcome! Plenty of film cameras can be had for a fraction of their original price. There’s bound to be one that will suit your particular needs (Check out our handy guide to the 6 Best Film Cameras for Beginners). Unlike with digital, you don’t get to change your ISO on the fly. Once you load a roll or spool of film into your film camera, you’re locked into that particular roll’s ISO until you finish the whole thing.

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Save $105 and Learn the Art of Nude Photography for Just $69 (NSFW)

nude photography

If you want to master nude photography, this photography tutorial is for you.

If you’ve always wanted to break out into the field of nude photography, but you have not had any idea where to start, this deal is for you. For just a short while, you can learn all about nude photography from one of the leaders in this space, Dan Hecho, for only $69! This photography tutorial is going to teach you the theory behind nude photography, how to capture stunning images, and how to retouch those images so that they always look their best. Join us after the break to learn more. Be warned, there are some NSFW images.

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