May 22, 2022

Don’t make these mistakes when shooting with natural light

As we understand with more experience, shooting portraits with natural light isnt always easy or uncomplicated, and there are lots of things we can do to improve our shots. In this video, Omar Gonzalez reveals us which risks to prevent when shooting in natural light

Natural light is most likely what many of us start with when we are beginning to get into picture photography. After a while of shooting with natural (or readily available) light, we then start to find it a little underwhelming, and thats when we generally begin our forays into strobes or artificial lighting.

Not fully seeing the light or examining

If all the light is coming from directly above (believe shooting in the middle of the day) then your topic will get racoon eyes. You can have the subject tilt their face up slightly, photograph them from a little above, or find a spot with a natural reflector on the ground (pale concrete for example) or opposite (a white wall) that will bounce light back at them. The takeaway is then to be mindful not simply of the instructions of light, however also of any natural reflectors that could be bouncing the light around.

You probably still arent using the light to your complete advantage. To quickly find where the instructions of great light is coming from, Omar recommends utilizing your hand out in front of you and moving it around till you see it almost light up.

Leading lighting

When were first beginning we tend to prioritize seeing our subject over seeing the light. Often there isnt enough light, or the quality of light is just not really that excellent. Its fairly common at the beginning stages to just shoot your topic without concerning the real light.

Direction of light.

Over-reliance on shade

So you get to where youre doing the shoot and discover that there is quite actually, no light. The scary! What are you going to do? Well, you could do what I do and always bring a strobe plus light modifier with you simply in case of emergencies. I like to shoot with natural light when I can, however I also like to use artificial light and other available light. Even if natural light is your preferred lighting method, do not be afraid to learn how to utilize other forms of light, it might well conserve you in a tight circumstance. One of my preferred combinations is balancing a flash with the other natural or ambient lighting. Its extremely subtle and will assist push your images as much as the next level.

Open shade is among those sweet areas that photographers like to point out. And it can typically be extremely helpful, especially if youre shooting in really bright sunshine You can have too much of an excellent thing and think it or not, you can have too much shade. The key to using open shade correctly is to actually have the subject be on the edge of it so you can get lovely light striking them indirectly, or you can use the sun as a hair light behind them without causing a great deal of flare. Being too far back into the shaded location will create those feared dead eyes where there are no catchlights in the eyes.

Colour casts

No light

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The takeaway is then to be mindful not simply of the direction of light, however also of any natural reflectors that could be bouncing the light around. The key to using open shade correctly is to in fact have the subject be on the edge of it so you can get gorgeous light striking them indirectly, or you can utilize the sun as a hair light behind them without causing a lot of flare. I enjoy to shoot with natural light when I can, however I likewise enjoy to utilize synthetic light and other available light. Even if natural light is your preferred lighting method, do not be scared to learn how to utilize other types of light, it might well conserve you in a tight situation. I would add that anyone who desires to rock natural light really requires to get actually good at manipulating light.

Lastly, I would include that anybody who desires to rock natural light really requires to get really proficient at manipulating light. Experiment with utilizing silks or other diffusion material, reflectors to bounce light around both white and black. in my opinion, becoming a master of natural light is actually a lot more hard in the end than finding out how to use artificial lighting. Ultimately, light is light. It constantly behaves in the exact same method and is comfortingly predictable. You just need to understand it

Omar states that frequently a natural light professional photographer wont take into account the reality that the topic may be surrounded by plant or are wearing a brilliantly coloured shirt for instance, which are all going to show those colours back onto the skin and impact the complexion in unwanted methods. , if youre faced with this circumstance you can utilize a reflector to actually obstruct the light thats producing the colour casts away from peoples skin.. Removing the reflection of green grass from a chin is a fools errand in post, far better to eliminate it in-camera.

One timeless move is the use the sun as a backlight and reflect some of that light back at the subject. You can also just utilize the sun as a light source, particularly towards the start and end of the day.

Embrace the sunlight.