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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Natural Light Portrait Photography Is Easy with These 5 Lenses

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Natural light portrait photography is easy to do but difficult to master. But indeed, some of the most beautiful portraits are shot with diffused window light, skylight, or outdoors. Always remember that a five-in-one reflector is your best friend. However, the love of your life, the one you’ll always want by your side, is a lens that’s perfectly synced with the look you want to create. Finding the right balance of color, bokeh, and sharpness can be pretty tough. Luckily, The Phoblographer has reviewed the most lenses of any publication out there. And we’ve got an essential list and a few pro tips right here for you.

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Cast a Spell! 3 Lenses for Natural Light Portrait Photography Magic!

There’s a bit of wizardry going on with these lenses.

No one can deny that corny, romantic feeling that you get around the golden hour. If you’re a natural light portrait photographer, you know that it’s one of the best times for it. Everything naturally looks better as the world turns from golden to blue. To that end, certain lenses and cameras are just better at helping you capture and create that magic moment. Essentially, it’s all about color and light. So we dove into our Reviews Index to round up some of our favorite lenses.

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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

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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

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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.

How to Flatten a Nose in Portrait Photography with Any Lens

Macro Lenses - Olympus 60mm f2.8

This tip is going to work with pretty much any lens, no matter what.

The nose is something loads of people are self-conscious about. It’s easy to look for the best lenses to flatten the nose: there’s a lot of choices online. There are also lots of methods on how to do it. But there’s another element that I think is incredibly important. And it’s one most people don’t talk about because it’s the most complicated. So we’re going to discuss a bit of the obvious and some of the less obvious ones here.

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6 Amazing Photographers and Their Black and White Photography

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Who doesn’t love black and white photography? The deep darks and the eye-catching whites are what make this beautiful genre so mesmerizing. We’ve featured many photographers who remove color from their work and instead go for the more classic feel. In fact, the stories centered around the black and white frame have been some of our most popular on the site. And in this piece, we’re going to look at some of the best of them.

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Shooting Film? All Natural Light Portrait Photographers Need This Tool

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The reflector is one of the most underrated and forgotten about items that any natural light portrait photographer could have. Folks tend to just forget it. Instead, they think that film will do a good enough job and that they can edit it later. But the reality is that you just get really bad-looking scans and edits. With film, you truly need to work at it in-camera. The majority of the work needs to be done when shooting. If anything, just clarity and a bit of sharpening can be done in post-production. 

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20 Terrible Tips for Better Photography You Need in Your Life

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There are lots of great tutorials out there to teach you all about how to take better photos. Some are better than others. But there’s a major lack of photography content out there teaching you awful tips. For example, did you know that you only become a better photographer by trolling in comments? Clearly, you’re thinking about making yourself look better as a photographer absolutely wrong. The real idea is to find a way to make everyone else look bad. That’s the only way that you’ll be successful. And we can learn this from history by looking at the feud between Edison and Tesla.

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6 Photographers Show the World Their Superb Creative Photography

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We love all types of photography here at The Phoblographer. However, we must admit that some of what we see is a bit boring. That’s not to say it’s bad photography, but many photographers do the same thing without pushing their creative boundaries. The good news is, we’re not going to subject you to any of that. We’re going to share a round-up of photographers who think outside the box – a collection of works that shows their artistic flair and creative photography.

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Ale Ruaro Feels He Puts a Unique Spin on his Street Photography

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My name is Ale Ruaro. My text is really bad, so photography is the best way for me to express myself. After studying cinema photography, I found myself in the static image. My photography reflects who I am, quick thoughts, punctual subjects, marked and contrasted light, no photoshop. I live in the center of São Paulo, and whenever I go to Europe, I photograph a lot. In 2019, on my way back from a big trip, I thought I need to photograph around my house to show what I see. I started to dedicate myself a lot to this work, and I believe in its importance, imagining that this place will be cleaner, safer, and with a better income division one day.

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