Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shooting With Natural Light

Sorry...I know it's been a long time since I last posted! My shooting schedule has been crazy lately and today is the first day I've had in a while to sit down, breathe and get reorganized. To let in a bit of fresh air to the blog I thought focusing on natural light as a topic would be appropriate and somewhat refreshing.

I absolutely adore shooting in natural light...I always have. It represents what the good Lord has given us to work with without even thinking about plugging into an electrical outlet. It's amazing what simple, natural lighting can do to transform an image. No matter what the subject is, God-given sunshine can turn something ordinary into extraordinary.

If you're wondering how to go about shooting in natural light, here are a few tips:

1. If shooting indoors, try to
choose a window or doorway that gets soft, indirect light. In my studio I have a northeast-facing window that gets wonderful morning light. If you're stuck with harsh light coming through your windows, improvise by covering windows with soft white fabric or sheers to create a more diffused light.

2. Using a tripod is a must...especially when working indoors with natural light. If you want to create a wonderful soft light/shallow depth of field in your photos you will want to use a slower shutter speed and a wide aperture. You want to avoid camera shake, so use a tripod.

3. Natural light is wonderful for accentuating the textures of an object or even a person's facial features. Work on positioning your subject next to a window where the light skims across the surface you are focused on.

4. When shooting outdoors be sure to choose "open shade" spots, such as under a tree or the shady side of a building. You don't want to be in too dark of a spot, but you also don't want to have harsh sunlight causing your subject to squint or develop under eye shadows.

5. Carry along a small reflector to use indoors and outdoors when working with natural light. If you don't have a professional reflector, you can improvise by using a piece of white foam board from your local craft store.

With the snow finally melting away and Springtime right around the corner, the sunshine is beginning to make it's presence known a bit more often, so now is the perfect time to practice working with natural light!

Until next time...Happy Shooting!

Go to for more examples of Natural Lighting. E-mail questions to

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