When you’re first getting into working with flashes, a question you’re most likely going to ask is why you should even consider using high speed sync at all? You’ve probably seen some photos and lots of photographers probably figure they can create the same look with natural light. Realistically, you could do so with great difficulty in Photoshop and Lightroom. But it’s much easier to get it right in camera and then carry on shooting as you normally would. Plus, they’re two specific and different looks.
Working with natural light is one of those things most photographers start with before moving on into other lighting techniques like speedlights or strobes. But funny enough, natural light is one of those lighting techniques that can be really difficult for some to get a handle on. In this post we are going to go over some of our top tips for getting better natural light photos indoors by seeing your light, understanding it, and then harnessing it and bending it to your will.
Let’s make natural light your bitch! Continue reading…
All images by Yoshihiro Asada and Norihito Yamauchi via Arch Daily
It’s been said all the time that there’s always something for everyone, and we believe we’ve found the perfect house for photographers. It’s designed to maximize natural light, has plenty of space for a home studio, and has a lot of picture-perfect corners. There’s just one catch: You’d have to fly to Japan to book a viewing at least. Which doesn’t sound so bad, actually, as Japan is known for being a paradise for photographers.
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…
It’s strange and mostly absurd how there’s still a lot of bickering over photography techniques, gear, and choices today. We should be already at a time when everyone accepts that everything ultimately boils down to one thing: personal preference. The fact that fashion photographer Irene Rudnyk still has to defend her preference for shooting in natural light attests to this.
When you work with a film like Kodak Portra 160, you get a pretty fine detailed film designed to be used more or less with controlled lighting. Though interestingly enough, I’ve personally had much better results working with many other films using controlled lighting and instead found that this film is one of the best to be used with natural light. Designed for skin tones in portraiture, Kodak Portra 160 has a very muted color palette but not as pastel as Fujifilm’s Pro 160 NS–its closest competitor which is now discontinued. Like many other films, it is available in both 120 and 35mm. But if you’re reading this website, then you’re probably only using it in 120.
I’ve been using Kodak Portra 160 for years; and even though I prefer to work with 400, 160 is surely a nice film in the right settings.
Running out of ideas for shooting portraits? Sometimes, all you need is a prop you can use as a major part of your portrait’s story. If you’ve been working in the studio for a while, you might want to bring your session outdoors to give your photos a scenic or even moody look. Case in point is the lovely session by Irene Rudnyk where she took portraits in natural light outdoors with her model holding a cello.
High key lighting is a technique that has been used for many, many years now. For the most part, you can associate it with a certain Amazon patent, but high key lighting has been used year after year for portrait photography and cinematography. Essentially, it gives your subject this sort of angelic, bright and airy look. These days it is typically more associated with backlighting a portrait subject. So if you love working with natural lighting, then you’ll probably really like high key lighting.
Feature image screen capture from video, all credit to Serge Ramilli.
Shooting cityscapes at night can be a great hobby for photographers and civilians alike: the city never moves, it’s always available to shoot, and you can do it at your leisure. During day or night most can take some breathtaking images that will capture the attention of your viewers. But if you are new to this, the idea of shooting at night may give you pause… so, let’s remedy that.
Screenshot taken from the video
Right up there with buying a 50mm lens and the rule of thirds, probably one of the most thrown around recommendations in photography is photographing your subjects during golden hour. It is one of the most common times of day to see photographers out looking for images but it also comes with some interesting challenges that newer photographers may struggle with. Continue reading…
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…
Sue Bryce is a titan of the photography education circuit, with thousands upon thousands of photographers flocking to her workshops and events in an attempt to learn from the queen of glamour portraiture. Bryce has largely built this reputation over the years as an exclusively natural light photographer, but that has all changed now. Continue reading…
All images by Werner Philipps. Used with permission.
You wouldn’t think that despite the way that photographer Werner Philipps got his start in photography, he’d be shooting and creating incredible portraits. “A few years back I was planing an online shop as a secondary income.” says Werner. He purchased Canon EOS 20D; and the idea of the shop failed. Seeing that this happened, he didn’t want the purchase to go to waste. Afterall, it was an investment. “So one day I went on a day trip to Groningen (Netherlands) with a couple of friends and I took the camera and started taking pictures. Thats how it all started.”
Like many other photographers getting their start, Werner began by shooting everything out there. “From the flowers of the balcony to random street photography. At first I was really intimidated taking pictures of people but at the same time it was an opportunity to develop myself through photography.” With time though, Werner gathered himself and faced his fears. Soon, he began shooting portraits and getting out of his comfort zone.
Portraiture is something very personal. When you create an image of someone, you put your stamp on their likeness being documented. The image is a collaboration process–and when you combine this with all the fun that a scenic landscape or cityscape can provide mixed in with radiant natural light, you simply cannot go wrong.
Here are the details.
“I think good lighting is in the eye of the beholder” says Photographer Chris Burkard about how he shoots. “I love looking at the workof the old masters and they would find ways to manipulate light…” Indeed, he’s one of the more popular photographers to pop in the past couple of years. For Chris, he tells Silber Studios in a video (after the jump) that he stresses about angles.
“Sometimes it can be the difference between standing up and shooting and squatting down and shooting.”
Chris thinks that images don’t come easy to him and instead it’s all about studying a scene. He also states that he doesn’t like replicating things. Instead he wants to create his own mark.
When you’re first starting out shooting portraits, it can be kind of nerve wracking. But in all honesty, it’s simpler than you think. Once you’ve got the technical tips down, you’ll be able to focus on the artistic parts of actually creating a compelling portraits.
Here’s a checklist.
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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!
All images by Béatrice Schuler. Used with permission.
Béatrice Schuler hails from Nova Scotia, Canada) fell in love with photography, lab work, and film in her teenage years. After a successful career in a different field, she rediscovered her initial passion several years ago. She tells us that she’s in love with lots of genres–street photography, landscapes, animals, food photography, etc. What she likes above all is playing with shadows and light, and “catching” moments of life.
And more importantly for some of you, she’s a lover of natural light.
“Feed me!!!” That’s pretty the major demand to give into when it comes to photographing dogs–and specifically puppies. It can be even tougher when you’re working with one that has lots of energy; but the folks over at Weekly Imogen have a couple of really good and interesting solutions beyond just giving the pup lots of treats.
All images by André Josselin. Used with permission.
Personal portraiture is something that is very intimate and involves the process of capturing who a person is and documenting natural beauty. That’s what photographer André Josselin tries to do. The 29-year-old Cologne-based photographer started out five years ago and has since grown quite the fanbase on social media.
It has gained him the recognition of Tatort (a popular German television series), ADOBE, NIKE, Carl Zeiss, UFA Production, Soccerbible, and C-Heads Magazine, among others.
We found his work on Behance not long ago, and got to talking to him about creating the perfect photo, natural light’s beauty, and not being the creepy photographer.
Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.
Illuminating someone’s face when using a flash is pretty simple to do and really all about positioning more than anything else. Best of all, you can do it all with one light source.
If you’re using natural light:
– Don’t have your subject look into the sun.
– Find diffused light; like that under a tree, awning, or in a building.
– Preferably, find a reflective surface that bounces light back into the person’s face.
– Place the reflected light source in front of or slightly to the side of the person.
If you’re using a flash in the hot shoe:
– Bounce the flash output off of a surface to the side and slightly behind you.
– Have the subject face you directly.
– Do not bounce the flash directly off of the ceiling. You’ll create shadows under the eyes.
If you’re using a flash/strobe out of the hot shoe:
– Put the flash in a large modifier–one that is larger than the person’s face
– Place the light modifier with the flash in front of the subject/slightly to the side
In all of these situations, try to turn the subject’s face slightly towards the light source. This will create more direct illumination onto the eyes.